In a proof positive example that the NFL Draft is far from an exact science, the St. Louis Rams and Dallas Cowboys exchanged former 1st round draft picks in a deal that could have once been considered a blockbuster, but in reality was just a swap of on-field disappointments. The Boys and Rams had a swap meet of sorts filling needs for one another with Dallas receiving offensive tackle Alex Barron to fill a void left by the recently released Flozell Adams while the Rams got linebacker Bobby Carpenter in return to try and fix a woeful defense with an infinite amount of holes. More »
With a number of offseason image problems plaguing the NFL from the Ben Roethlisberger scandal to the collective bargaining agreement being in limbo, the last thing that the league wanted was one its young up-and-coming stars to test positive for a banned substance. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened when Houston Texans linebacker and 2009 Rookie of the Year Brian Cushing was officially suspended for the first four games in the 2010 season after testing positive for a non-steroidal banned substance. It was revealed that Cushing appealed the failed test in February, but the NFL found that the test was legit and went ahead with the announcement to suspend Cushing. More »
The inevitable has finally turned into reality as the Oakland Raiders decided to officially cut ties with their former bust, errr 1st overall pick Jamarcus Russell on Thursday. Much of Russell’s pre-draft hype was a result of his phenomenal workout during which he threw a 60 yard pass from his knees and made the ball whistle through sound barriers. Raiders owner Al Davis has long been known as a sucker for the workout warriors and Russell won the heart of the old softee with his cannon arm and imposing physique.
Things really got off to a rocky start in Oakland for the number one overall selection as he held out for all of training camp and the opening weekend of the season after failing to reach a contract agreement with the team. His rookie campaign was brief considering he got little work with the team, but even years two and three were nothing to write home about as the strong armed signal caller has completed just 52.1 percent of his passes during his career. What has often been the most criticized aspect of the promising young player is his work ethic (or lack thereof) as Russell often arrived at camp out of shape and not at all ready to work on his craft.
There have been quarterbacks with difficult first chapters to their careers only to bounce back after a change of scenery and perhaps that can happen for Russell. At only 24 years of age, some team is going to take a chance on signing him to a league minimum deal and get him into camp for competition. One potential fit is with the Arizona Cardinals where the team is not sold on former 1st round selection Matt Leinart and the Derek Anderson signing certainly isn’t a long-term solution either. Many have also floated out the possibility of a landing with the Washington Redskins where there new head coach Mike Shanahan has done wonders with different quarterbacks in the past and could reinvigorate Russell’s work ethic learning behind Donovan McNabb for a year or two. Even the New England Patriots have been discussed as potential suitors where Bill Belichick is no stranger to reclamation projects and learning behind one of league’s best in Tom Brady could be a humbling experience for an athlete with tremendous potential.
All of there stops of possibilities, but none of them will be willing to bring Russell into the fold unless he shows some sense of understanding his past mistakes and willingness to correct those shortcomings. It will be a long road back to what was expected of him just three short years ago as the number one overall pick, but stranger things have happened. There is a ton of football left in Russell’s future if he chooses to rededicate himself and shows a selfless love for the game again as a competitor.
There has been some new money flying around in the NFL this week and the young stars of this league are finally getting paid in accordance to their on-field production. Many were skeptical of just how many long-term commitments would be made by organizations considering the uncertainty surrounding the CBA agreement that is in its final operating year currently. Many players with expiring contracts have been forced to play for another year well under their current market values, but that can’t be said for two budding stars in the NFC. More »
Who Dat? Nation has had no shortage of fiesta worthy news over the past three months and that continued with the announcement on Monday that the team had resigned their safety Darren Sharper to a one-year deal. Sharper has been castoff from two franchises in his career where the team thought that his play had declined and he was no longer a vital piece of their defenses. He has been busy proving those misconceptions wrong with the New Orleans Saints as in the 2009 season he had three interception returns for touchdowns of 99, 97, and 42 yards respectively. More »
Football fans are all aware by now of the suspension levied by the league Commissioner Roger Goodell that will sideline Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for at least the first four games of the 2010 season. The implications of that punishment could be devastating for the Steelers campaign in the upcoming year however; as they face two difficult home opponents in the opening contest with the Atlanta Falcons and in week 4 against the division rival Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh also has two road tilts stuffed in between those games at the Tennessee Titans in week two and then at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in week three. More »
The Tennessee Titans had a rocky season in 2009, but the same cannot be said for their budding young star in the backfield. Chris Johnson tore the league up last season becoming only the sixth player in history to eclipse the 2,000 yard barrier and being arguably the most exciting player to watch throughout the year league-wide. All of these statistical achievements and NFL dominating numbers come from a player not considered yet to be in the prime of his career as the 2009 season was only Johnson’s second in the league. More »
The end appears to be near for Oakland Raiders former number one overall pick Jamarcus Russell as the club appears ready to sever ties with the much maligned signal caller in the near future. There are plenty of comparisons for Russell who was highly touted after leaving the LSU Tigers a year early as a junior and hurling the ball 60-plus yards from his knees in workouts. None of the strong armed, gunslinger comparisons panned out at the next level, but now many liken Russell to the former San Diego Chargers bust Ryan Leaf. More »
It may be a bit premature to try and determine the winners and losers from this year’s NFL Draft, but that doesn’t stop the pundits nor myself from doing just that. With a number of teams trying to build for the future and turn their franchise histories around, the draft is the best way to go about doing just that. There are always a few teams that tend to excel more than others during the process and contrastingly there are a few franchises that just don’t seem to have a clue. This particular piece is going to criticize those franchises appearing to be a bit lost in terms of strategy and really clueless as far as scouting is concerned. More »
It may be a bit premature to try and determine the winners and losers from this year’s NFL Draft, but that doesn’t stop the pundits nor myself from doing just that. With a number of teams trying to build for the future and turn their franchise histories around, the draft is the best way to go about doing just that. There are always a few teams that tend to excel more than others during the process and contrastingly there are a few franchises that just don’t seem to have a clue. This particular piece is going to focus on the positives and dissect just which teams had the best three days during the draft process and why. More »
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