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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Free Agency: Reconsidering the Early Leaders

I posted a few hours ago about the New York Jets being the early leader in this years NFL Free Agency. I would like to repeat what I said then.

It is too early to pick a winner but it's never to early to pick a leader.
It is also never to late to change your mind. With the moves that Cleveland has made already, not only helping themselves but hurting division rival, Cincinnatti, they were making a strong case as the number one team in free agency. Now they have added to their wide receiver corps.

The Browns have come to terms with receiver Donte Stallworth, who spent last season on the Patriots, who have to be the losers of free agency. The seven-year, $35 million dollar deal comes with 10 million guaranteed.

Stallworth joins a receiver corps that includes Braylon Edwards, Joe Jurevicious, and tight end Kellen Winslow.With those kind of weapons in place Derek Anderson reprising his 2007 breakout, while Jamal Lewis keeps old age and injury at bay one more year could be just what the Browns need to take all these new additions deep into the playoffs.



Alright people it's March and to us sports fans that means March Madness, Spring Training, and NFL Free Agency. To a lot of people March means March of Dimes.

My sister is walking for the March of Dimes, click on her banner below, and head to the comments section where you'll find a woman who mentions that March of Dimes helped her family care for her when she was young. That's my Grandmother. Along with beating me for my abuse of the English language on this blog, she has beaten Polio, and a stroke.

SHE DRINKS YOUR MILKSHAKE

If you can donate great if not just check out her comment

Tyrese Rice was Michael Jordan for 20 Minutes

When Boston College and UNC laced up this afternoon, everyone was talking about the North Carolina win that would help them keep pace with Duke. It would also put them as the likely #1 in the country Monday. Tyrese Rice and The Boston College Eagles had other plans.

Jumping out to a 16-2 lead behind the shooting of Rice the Eagles slammed a scare into the Tarheels. By the time the first 20 minutes was up, the Eagles had sustained that scare. The buzzer sounded with the eagles leading by 14 points. No matter what the 'Heels threw at Rice he was working his way for open shots and making the ones that weren't open. Rice started the first half by going 5-for-5 with 4 of those from behind the arc. He kept that going finishing the first half with 34 points and 8 buckets from behind the arc.

The Second half; NC came back and then some winning the game by. Even with that comeback in the game Rice's first half was still that show stealer. He dominated that 20 minutes more than any player I've ever seen. Rice finished the game with 46 points. His coach closed the game nicely by subbing Rice out with 46 seconds left so the Boston College crowd could show give him the appreciation that he deserves.

Free Agency: Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn

In the middle of the night, early Friday morning, just hours into the NFL's Free Agency period, Derek Anderson signed a big deal, with the team he was on. While it cleared up some issued for the team it left some remaining.

One of the biggest questions last year was "How long until we start the guy we just drafted. The one we are paying a lot more than Derek Anderson." The Browns eliminated that question by guaranteeing Anderson just a bit more than they guaranteed Brady Quinn. It doesn't get rid of the questions though it just changes them.

It still leaves the issue of the amount of money a team that didn't even make the playoffs is shelling out for the quarterback position. The "How can we give so much to guy on the bench" questions are right around the corner. if they aren't beaten to the punch by "Look at the this guy's making, last year was a fluke put Quinn in" that are coming the minute Anderson has one bad game. No quarterback needs the pressure of doubtful job security. Especially not the kind that comes from a guy the team moved up into the first round to get.

The biggest contributing factor to the Browns trouble might just be success. If the Browns young talent on offense can get them in the neighborhood of the playoffs, the cries for using one of the two quarterbacks for trade bait will be loud and frequent.





Alright people it's March and to us sports fans that means March Madness, Spring Training, and NFL Free Agency. To a lot of people March means March of Dimes.


My sister is walking for the March of Dimes, click on her banner below, and head to the comments section where you'll find a woman who mentions that March of Dimes helped her family care for her when she was young. That's my Grandmother. Along with beating me for my abuse of the English language on this blog, she has beaten Polio, and a stroke.


SHE DRINKS YOUR MILKSHAKE


If you can donate great if not just check out her comment


Free Agency, The Patriots Second Loss This Year

The NFL's most dominate team during the 07-08 season is not having the same success during Free Agency. Already suffering a few setbacks with big name players, the New England Patriots have managed to lock up one of their key guys.


The loss of Asante Samuel, was expected. After the year he had the Patriots, who are not known for paying big money to defensive backs, knew that they weren't going to come to a number that worked for them and kept Samuel happy. Samuel signing with the Eagles wasn't devastating but the accumulation of losses will add up.

Prior to Free Agency officially starting Zach Thomas was released by the Miami Dolphins. On his first trip to Foxboro the Patriots offered Thomas a contract. The offer was tabled while Thomas shopped his services to New Orleans and Dallas. Signing with Dallas a few days after the Patriots made their offer, Thomas began the trend of players opting not to sign with the Patriots.

The latest addition to the list of guys shopping their services, Randy Moss, is now weighing his options. The Patriots chose not to franchise tag Moss. The feeling prior to free agency was that it was a matter of when, not if the Patriots would bring Moss back into the fold. Now that guys are moving all over, it appears the two parties are any where near a deal. The Patriots it seems are trying to get Moss to give a hometown discount to a team he has only played one season for.

Tedi Bruschi on the other hand did resign with Patriots. Whether he got the discount or gave the discount isn't known yet. The details of the one-year deal aren't public yet. Though the fact he wanted a deal for more than one year is known.

That maybe the key point for guys who are deciding to look elsewhere. The Patriots now have a consistent trend of getting rid of guys if they anticipate any kind of decline in performance. I don't fault them it is a business and the team has to do what's best for it. They shouldn't be surprised though when players start to look elsewhere to take care of their own best interest.





Alright people it's March and to us sports fans that means March Madness, Spring Training, and NFL Free Agency. To a lot of people March means March of Dimes.


My sister is walking for the March of Dimes, click on her banner below, and head to the comments section where you'll find a woman who mentions that March of Dimes helped her family care for her when she was young. That's my Grandmother. Along with beating me for my abuse of the English language on this blog, she has beaten Polio, and a stroke.


SHE DRINKS YOUR MILKSHAKE


If you can donate great if not just check out her comment


A Casual Fan Dips His Toe In Spring Training

Baseball has had a growing place in my life over the last few years. The casual fanhood of my youth had me attending one baseball game a year and watching when the World Series began. As my love of the game has grown I have become more and more attached each year. This year I finally reached the level that the regular season just isn't enough. As I started watching Spring Training games I learned something; just like the regular season there will be up and there will be downs.

On day one of the Spring Training games season was the Joe Torre debut as the Los Angeles Dodgers manager. The buzz around his impact on the young players was evident on the field. Just in case I had missed it every one with a microphone or a keyboard remind me how Joe Torre was going to change thing for the Dodgers who haven't seen much of the post season lately.

One day after kicking myself for missing all the things I could have learned from spring baseball all these years, I sat with anticipation as Johann Santana took the mound for the first time as a member of the New York Mets. I could hardly wait. If Torre, a big time manager, could help the Dodgers so much from the dugout; how much more would Santana, an impact player, do on the field. After watching a few innings worth of Santanna getting shelled I began to realize, maybe spring baseball is just about as valuable as the NFL preseason.

Just like the NFL preseason though, I'm going to watch. It may not be the best performances, I may not be able to learn the future of a franchise, but I still love the crack of the bat.





Alright people it's March and to us sports fans that means March Madness, Spring Training, and NFL Free Agency. To a lot of people March means March of Dimes.


My sister is walking for the March of Dimes, click on her banner below, and head to the comments section where you'll find a woman who mentions that March of Dimes helped her family care for her when she was young. That's my Grandmother. Along with beating me for my abuse of the English language on this blog, she has beaten Polio, and a stroke.


SHE DRINKS YOUR MILKSHAKE


If you can donate great if not just check out her comment


Linking up with RonDean

I hope to be important enough to be fired one day(Fanhouse)

Narcissism: When you believe your teams dominance would "restore the universe to order."(ESPN)

Just in time to draw attention from Clemens, more dirt on Bonds(ESPN)

You don't have to copy everything the NFL does(SportsbyBrooks)

I hate China more everyday(SportsbyBrooks)

Alright people it's March and to us sports fans that means March Madness, Spring Training, and NFL Free Agency. To a lot of people March means March of Dimes.

My sister is walking for the March of Dimes, click on her banner below, and head to the comments section where you'll find a woman who mentions that March of Dimes helped her family care for her when she was young. That's my Grandmother. Along with beating me for my abuse of the English language on this blog, she has beaten Polio, and a stroke.

SHE DRINKS YOUR MILKSHAKE

If you can donate great if not just check out her comment

Free Agency: New York Jets Your Early Leaders

NFL's Free Agency period is just one day old, a little early to be declaring a winner. Just right for declaring a leader. The early lead has to go to the Jets. Teams have made bigger splashes in single moves, but no franchise has done as much to improve their whole team. Moves involving big names like Jonathan Vilma, and Alan Faneca are sure to help your team even if one of them is addition by subtraction.

No one, not even the brass at the New York Jets thinks Vilma isn't a standout talent. He just doesn't fit with the Jets defense. Vilma was originally a nice fit for the 4-3 that the Jets ran prior to head coach Eric Mangini's arrival. As Mangini has worked to integrate the 3-4 defense Vilma has seemed more and more out of place. The trade to New Orleans will hopefully get Vilma's career back on track, while getting the Jets some value for the linebacker. The Saints are sending a 4th round pick to the Jets. That could get upgraded to a 3rd or even 2nd round pick based on Vilma's playing time and him signing an extension with the Saints.

The "guys finding a better fit" theme continues with the Jets signing of left Guard Alan Faneca. Faneca who felt the Steelers who had played for 9 years let him down heading into the 07-08 season, his 10th with the team. He felt that for the team to make him play the whole year with no security should he get injured, wasn't a fair reward for his 10 years of service. He showed a fair amount of class; after explaining his side logically, he informed everyone he would be showing up for all required functions, he would play just as hard as he always had, and he would find a new team at the end of the year. He did just that, signing with the Jets for $32 million over 4-years, the first $23 of that is guaranteed. Did somebody say security?

Alan Faneca brings more than just his impressive skills at left guard. He will line up between D'Brickashaw Ferguson and center Nick Mangold; both have only 2 years experience, and will benefit from Faneca's leadership between them. Once the three of them develop a little chemistry they should provide some nice lanes between the tackles for Thomas Jones



Alright people it's March and to us sports fans that means March Madness, Spring Training, and NFL Free Agency. To a lot of people March means March of Dimes.


My sister is walking for the March of Dimes, click on her banner below, and head to the comments section where you'll find a woman who mentions that March of Dimes helped her family care for her when she was young. That's my Grandmother. Along with beating me for my abuse of the English language on this blog, she has beaten Polio, and a stroke.


SHE DRINKS YOUR MILKSHAKE


If you can donate great if not just check out her comment


Free Agency: Isaac Bruce Signs with the Niners

Looks like the Niners are trying to recreate that old magic. That VERY old magic. The San Francisco Forty-Niners threw their hat in the NFL's Free Agency ring. Signing long time St. Louis Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce to a two-year $6 million dollar contract.



The move reunites him with former Rams Coach Mike Martz who was recently added to try and get the 49ers offense to look more like the Rams offense circa 2000. Apparently the role of Isaac Bruce; sure handed receiver will be played by Isaac Bruce; washed up receiver. With role of Kurt Warner; the quarterback no one believes in being played quite convincingly by Alex Smith; the quarterback no one, including Niners head coach Mike Nolan, believes in.



Check out my Pre-Free Agency Projections for the San Franciso 49ers


Alright people it's March and to us sports fans that means March Madness, Spring Training, and NFL Free Agency. To a lot of people March means March of Dimes.

My sister is walking for the March of Dimes, click on her banner below, and head to the comments section where you'll find a woman who mentions that March of Dimes helped her family care for her when she was young. That's my Grandmother. Along with beating me for my abuse of the English language on this blog, she has beaten Polio, and a stroke.

SHE DRINKS YOUR MILKSHAKE

If you can donate great if not just check out her comment

Free Agency: Devil's in the Details

This years NFL Free Agency has brought more action than well... the NBA trade deadline. Late Friday night The league gave us something I haven't seen before. A trade being voided. The league voided the trade the sent Shaun Rogers from the Detriot Lions to the Cincinnatti Bengals for a 1st and a 3rd round draft pick. Then the Cleveland Browns got into the mix, sending Leigh Bodden and a 3rd rounder for Rogers.

It may very well be that trades have gotten voided in recent memory. We just don't hear about it. Trades get submitted to the league office where they are reviewed. I am sure that often times the convoluted languages necessary to make these trades and the contracts they involve, gets screw up. That was the case in the Rogers to Cincinnatti part of this mess. On a normal day the two teams would get back together and hash out whatever language was required to get the leagues ok.

This is not a normal day. Tonight(Friday) at midnight if Shaun Rogers gets a 1 million dollar bonus. The Lions didn't want to be saddled with that, not for a guy that won't be playing for them next season. In their desperation to make a move, they ended up turning to Cincinnatti's division rival, the Browns. Not only do the Browns get better on the defensive line they do it at the expense of Cincinnatti. They also do it cheaper than Cincinnatti.

Leigh Bodden is a talented player, for sure. But the Lions basically just took him over a first round draft pick, the 9th overall draft pick. Anybody want to try and make a case that is a good decision. Sounds pretty Matt Millen to me.



Alright people it's March and to us sports fans that means March Madness, Spring Training, and NFL Free Agency. To a lot of people March means March of Dimes.

My sister is walking for the March of Dimes, click on her banner below, and head to the comments section where you'll find a woman who mentions that March of Dimes helped her family care for her when she was young. That's my Grandmother. Along with beating me for my abuse of the English language on this blog, she has beaten Polio, and a stroke.

SHE DRINKS YOUR MILKSHAKE

If you can donate great if not just check out her comment