Intrigue looms as Rams dangle #2 pick – Jim Thomas, StLtoday.com
According to league sources, this was the trade landscape entering the weekend:
• Cleveland (No. 4 pick): The Browns are unwilling at this point to include their second first-round pick, No. 22, as part of any trade package with the Rams.
• Washington (No. 6): The Redskins appear willing to trade their first-round pick next year, as well as their No. 6 overall pick this year. But they aren’t willing to include their second-rounder this year, which isn’t acceptable to the Rams.
• Miami (No. 8): This one appears to be dead in the water, somewhere off Florida’s Gold Coast. After losing the tug-of-war for coach Jeff Fisher, the Dolphins aren’t eager to do business with the Rams — or do the Rams any favors.
• Seattle (No. 12): No chance. The last thing the Rams want to do is send RG3 to a division rival and face him twice a year. The same applies for Arizona, which picks 13th.
A lot of this doesn’t make any sense to me, frankly. The Dolphins are eliminating a QB option because the hot girl (Fisher) picked another guy (the Rams) to go to the prom? Really? Is that how business works in the NFL? And the Browns are just going to fold their arms and keep their mouth sealed shut, not letting mom feed them applesauce like a 4 year old saying, “No, under no circumstances are we dealing the 22 overall pick.” I don’t buy any of this.
Severe, sweeping penalties under consideration in Saints bounty case – Mark Maske, Washington Post
Maske is doing excellent work on this case so far. I haven’t really decided for myself what fair punishment would be, and I’m not sure I’ll even go there, but if a really good NFC foe is going to be punished rather harshly, I’m all for it. Get ’em Rog.
New York Giants offseason plans: Make sure depth remains strong – Paul Schwartz, Sporting News
Despite their late-season surge, the Giants must continue to make sure their defense is fortified, as they were dreadful for long stretches of the season. Given the organizational philosophy, adding a pass rusher to a group that consists of Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora is not out of the question.
That’s kind of been their thing, so yeah, it would make sense.
Remembering Alex Webster, Giants star and coach – Andy Barall, NY Times
Safety remains a puzzle for the Eagles – Jeff McLane, philly.com
I believe in Nate Allen more than most. Jeff suggests that Allen might even be better playing closer to the line of scrimmage than playing center field, which is a scary thought. Some other blurbs here:
While it isn’t likely to happen, the Eagles could solve their third wheel problem at cornerback if they moved Nnamdi Asomugha back to his long-ago original position of safety. They wouldn’t have to unload Asante Samuel, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie could move outside into his comfort zone.
Realistically, the Eagles will probably do very little at safety. Allen and Jarrett, because of their draft positions, will get first dibs at starting. And Coleman will return because, despite his physical limitations, he has a better understanding of the position.
Agree. Jeff also lists all the available free agent safeties, with short commentary on each.
Why the Eagles aren’t the mystery team in on RG3 – Bob Wankel, Inside the Iggles
The Eagles are always creative on draft day, and they’ve been known to roll the dice in recent years, so what the hell? It’s possible, right?
But allow me for a moment to point out the obvious:
1) Andy Reid will be fired if the Eagles don’t win a playoff game. There’s no way Jeffrey Lurie can roll with Reid for another season if they fail to make some noise in the postseason.
2) The Eagles are not going to trade Michael Vick because he gives them the best chance to make said noise.
3) It would be completely counterproductive if the Eagles, a team that’s seemingly only a few tweaks away from legitimately contending in the NFC, were to mortgage their future to draft a player that won’t help them in 2012.
There’s no way that Reid, in a year when the owner publicly declared the Eagles must win, win big, and win now, will trade valuable picks that can inject talented youth along both the offensive and defensive lines, or picks that could net solutions to the team’s pressing need at inside and strong side linebacker. It’s just not going to happen.
I think there’s a reasonable rebuttal to each of those 3 points:
1) I’m not sure it’s a slam dunk Reid gets fired if they make it to the playoffs and are one and done.
2) Yeah, probably. But if you trade up for RG3, that doesn’t mean you have to trade Michael Vick. Cam Newton, as the number 1 overall pick last year, signed a 4 year deal worth $22 million, or $5.5 million per season. Vick’s backup in 2011 made $4 million. The financials wouldn’t make it unrealistic. The dynamic of Michael Vick being unhappy that the Eagles drafted his successor is another story (and one that could conceivably motivate him), but we won’t open up that can of worms for now.
3) I’ve seen the phrase “mortgaging the future” being used synonymously with trading up for RG3 quite a bit, but I don’t understand it. “Mortgaging the future,” to me, is trading a 2 and 4 for a 30-something Donovan McNabb in decline. A move for RG3 would have the future in mind, by getting your QB for the next decade+. That kind of move would be all the future, not the opposite.
People go bonkers for draft picks, but really, how many draft picks actually contribute a ton their first year in the league. The Super Bowl champs this year got virtually no production whatsoever from their rookie class. Ditto that for the Packers in 2010. Ditto that again for the Saints in 2009, who only had 4 picks, and just 1 in the first three rounds.
Not saying I’m for or against it, mind you. Just saying don’t be so quick to dismiss it.
Twelve free agents that should be talking to the Cowboys – DCFanatic.com
I don’t disagree with much here, but it should be noted that the Cowboys will be limited with what they do in free agency if they tag Anthony Spencer, as expected.
Cowboys leaning toward giving Anthony Spencer franchise tag, official decision to come today – Clarence Hill, Cowboys Corner
Spencer has been a solid run stopper but has not had more than six sacks in a season, thus falling short as legitimate passing rush threat opposite Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware.
Owner Jerry Jones seemingly set the stage for Spencer return during the NFL Scouting Combine when he praised his play and blamed his poor sack numbers on how he was being used.
Jones said he Spencer would have more sacks if he allowed to rush the passer more which would be part of the team’s game plan if were to return next season.
The numbers would say otherwise. Per Pro Football Focus, DeMarcus Ware rushed the QB 477 times. He had 19.5 sacks. Spencer rushed the QB less, by not by some sort of ridiculously lower total. He had 403 opportunities to get to the QB. 6 sacks.
NFP Sunday Blitz – Dan Pompei, National Football Post
In the event Mario Williams becomes a free agent, the list of suitors is likely to be a long one. Speculation around the league has it that the Cowboys and Patriots might be among the interested parties. We should point out this is sheer speculation, not necessarily rooted in fact. The Cowboys could use Williams in tandem with DeMarcus Ware in what would be the best pair of pass rushers in the NFL. Problem? Paying Williams more than Ware might not go over well in the locker room. As for the Patriots, signing Williams would be out of character, but they need to do something dramatic to help their defense. There is no move any team could make that would help a defense more.
I think that jealousy over money ranks pretty far down the list on the “con” list for this to happen. The Cowboys have neither the cap space nor the luxury of filling just one or two holes this offseason for this to be a reasonable approach to free agency in Dallas this year, although it wouldn’t shock me if it happened.