I’m a junkie. Up until this moment I had always thought myself a fan with an opinion and a reasonable grasp of the english language.
I have been watching professional football for the better part of four decades and have been through an infinite number of drafts, endless hours of study and two wives who both enjoyed watching Lifetime Channel movies with me in the room…
…but I’ll be damned if I can remember anything as insanely boring as this Legal Tampering window. Which brings up the question, why am I staying up until all hours scouring websites, checking sources, writing like a fool?
Did you know that on Saturday night I sat here at my desk, a shot of whiskey and – well, why blow that, eh? – counting down the minutes to see if the time clock on my computer went to 2:00am and then to 3:00, or if it went directly to 3:00am in correlation to the springing forward thing.
And that’s bad, particularly since I missed it. I got involved in reading a lead from the Denver Post and by the time I realized that I had completely spaced, it was too late…I had succumbed to an atavistic trait that all football junkies possess.
So on Day three of this fully supervised, fully refereed window of opportunity for teams to contact players’ agent, we realize that there may be many deals ready to be agreed to but my personal expectations of the 88 hours-long window of legal tampering have been dashed by a gag order, and as fans we are just as poorly off, information-wise…
…and it’s not much different than just waiting out the weekend heading into free agency in any other year, just more frustrating because I expected so much more.
What have we learned though? Anything other than what would have learned otherwise?
* Well, we learned that now that Joe Flacco has his money and has handcuffed the Baltimore Ravens in the free agent market, he is telling receiver Anquan Boldin to not settle for less money from the Ravens then he feels he deserves.
Joe, did it ever occur to you that your deal is what caused the rift in the first place? Do you think Boldin is looking at your deal and then his and wondering where you would be without him? Maybe you should give Boldin the $2 Million that the Ravens want to shave off of his 2013 Salary.
* We learned that Darrelle Revis wants his status cleared up quickly, but there’s a couple of things holding that up. First, the amount of money that he’s seeking is prima facie absurd for a cornerback coming off an ACL tear and, secondly, is the ACL tear itself. That is a huge risk for anyone to take, and the Jets are smart to shop him around.
Revis is damaged goods, and to sell him off as-is for the money that his elite status demands is hard dollar…but just as sure as legal tampering is boring, some team is going to come forward and give him all he wants and all the Jets want.
There’s a sucker in Denver, we understand.
* We learned that Wes Welker and/or his agent is either manic-depressive or learned everything they know about messing with people by watch Lifetime Channel movies…
Welker is the “jilted” employee who was offered a fair contract, yet turned it down – was given eight figures on a franchise tag last season and was offered a second fair contract by his employer this winter, and still won’t budge…and now he wants to “Stick it to the Patriots” for them not caving into his demands?
Were it me negotiating for the Patriots, I would give him whatever he wants, then turn around and trade him to the highest bidder at the trade deadline in October, thereby both controlling where he goes but also leveraging his agent out of the picture. If Tight End Aaron Hernandez wouldn’t have gotten hurt last season, that would have happened last October. Thus far, the negotiations have been so contentious because Welker can’t keep his mouth shut that it has all of the potential to cause divisiveness in the locker room.
* The number of quality safeties on the market are growing by leaps and bounds as NFL teams are figuring out that the Old-school, hard hitting enforcer-type role in the NFL is a luxury that don’t fit in their budgets. These days, these type of players have to do more than just knock the chocolate out of folks – they have to be able to cover, to play in the box like an extra safety and to participate on special teams…
…and those players are out there, but they are so plentiful it’s like you can get them for a dime a dozen (in NFL terms) so they are being released at record pace. Two names that the Patriots will end up looking at to stabilize their own safety situation are Adrian Wilson of the Cardinals and Quinton Mikell of the Rams. Both are in their early 30’s and both were deemed luxuries that their present teams couldn’t afford if they wanted to build the team up in a different direction.
* Everyone can forget about Mike Wallace now. Of the minimum of chatter coming out of the lame Legal Tampering window, the most solid has been about Wallace headed to the Dolphins…and now it’s being reported that it’s a done deal – but I’m curious as to how the NFL is going to handle these reports – and how the Dolphins build their offense around Tannehill and Wallace, particularly since they are letting Reggie Bush and Jake Long walk.
More headlines, which will be updated as the occasions arise:
Giants assign 1st round tender to Cruz
Giants assigned restricted free agent WR Victor Cruz a first-round tender.
Niners expected to chase Smith
CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco reports the 49ers are expected to “make a run at the right price” on free agent Sean Smith.
Redskins cut Hall
Redskins released CB DeAngelo Hall.
UPDATE: Seahawks acquire Harvin for 2nd round pick
Seahawks acquired WR Percy Harvin from the Vikings in exchange for a 2013 first-round pick, 2013 seventh-rounder, and a middle-round pick in 2014.
Vikes trying to trade Harvin for real, Seahawks main target
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Vikings are “trying to trade” Percy Harvin, and are “in discussions” with the Seahawks, “amongst other teams.”
Gamble set to Retire?
Free agent CB Chris Gamble is planning to retire.
Wallace deal done for Dolphins
The Palm Beach Post hears from “someone (it) trusts” that free agent Mike Wallace to Miami is a “done deal.”
ESPN, Sports Illustrated and USA Today have all insinuated as such over the past 24 hours, making the evidence that Wallace is planning to take his talents to South Beach overwhelming. Wallace’s rep could drag talks out on Tuesday for the sake of squeezing a few extra dimes out of an obviously desperate team, but it doesn’t appear anyone else has near the desire level to get a deal done.
Bears, Rams have Long on their radars
According to USA Today, the Rams and Bears are “believed to be among the most interested” in free agent LT Jake Long.
It’s hardly a surprise, as both teams had sinkholes for left tackles last season. There should be a nice market for Long’s services, but a lot is going to depend on what turns up in his physicals. Injury has become a very serious concern for a player who was once one of the top 1-2 tackles in the league. It wouldn’t be surprising if Long doesn’t find what he’s looking for on the open market and ends up back in Miami on a team-friendly deal.
Bushrod 50/50 to return to Saints
Free agent LT Jermon Bushrod is “50-50″ to re-sign with the Saints.
Per SI’s Peter King, Bushrod’s Saints future could depend on Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith restructuring their deals. If it’s Vilma and Smith holding the Saints back from keeping Drew Brees’ blindside protector, it’s shocking one or both haven’t been cut loose already. Bushrod is far more important to the Saints’ 2013 chances. Neither Vilma nor Smith is a fit for New Orleans’ new 3-4 defense.
Eagles to chase Amendola
Citing a source with “direct knowledge” of the Eagles’ plans, CSN Philly reports the club is “interested in pursuing” free agent Danny Amendola.
In other words, this info isn’t coming from an agent. Old Rams OC Pat Shurmur is now coordinating the Eagles’ offense, and Chip Kelly’s spread scheme floods the field with four wide receivers, including two in the slot. Beat writer Geoff Mosher concedes it’s “unclear how hard” the Eagles will pursue Amendola, but he’s definitely on their radar. Amendola is said to be seeking north of $6 million a year.