Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Packers Off Season Moves of 2015 | NFC North Update

Packers NFL Off Season Moves
We are deep enough into the NFL off season that I thought I would take some time to review to the off season so far for the NFC North. We begin without hometown Packers.

Green Bay Packers- So far the theme of this off season for the CIA interrogator lookalike Ted Thompson has been re-signing his own players. As usual Thompson laughed as teams like the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles throw stupid money around at player such as Demarco Murray and Ndamukong Suh and instead chose to focus on his own players. Thompson played hardball with Randall Cobb and added an extra year, no extra guaranteed money though, to get Brian Bulaga back in Green Bay under market value. Bulaga was expected to go for 8 million a year; Thompson added an extra year and got him for just under 7 million a year. Randall Cobb looked at his offer from Thompson and chose to take it, rather than take more money somewhere else. Randall Cobb is a perfect example of how Thompson doesn't “negotiate”. Thompson puts a value on every player he has, and when another team offers more money, he simply says to the player that his offer stands and good luck if that player chooses to take another offer. Tramon Williams and Davon House both got offers that exceeded Thompson's value of them, so he let both of them walk. Expect a cornerback to be the high priority this draft for the Packers.

Minnesota Vikings- Oh what an entertaining off season it's been for the Vikings. They traded Matt Cassel for a 5th round draft choice, then turned around and traded that draft choice to the Miami Dolphins for Mike Wallace and 7th round draft choice. The entertaining aspect of this would be that Wallace received an offer from the Vikings, but didn't want to sign there. The Vikings then turned around and released Greg Jennings, a man who wanted to be there. Jennings is interested in a return to Green Bay, but that will never happen so don't worry about it. The Packers have no need for him, no use for him, and no place for him. Then of course there is this never ending Adrian Peterson nonsense. This story deserves its own special post, so I will save that for another day. To sum it up in one sentence, Peterson wants a release, and the Vikings won't release him. They will only let him go via trade and they are asking for high draft choices. In other words, they want him to either play for them or sit out another season.

Chicago Bears- The Bears are up to their usual nonsense. They traded Brandon Marshall to the Jets for a late round draft choice and overpaid for Pernell McPhee. The Bears also committed to another year of Jay “Pick Six” Cutler. There is nothing else to see here that you don't already know. Move along.

Detroit Lions- The Lions have shown us this off season why they are one of those organizations that historically struggles to find their way. They let their two interior defensive linemen walk, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, but that is understandable. Fairley is a huge risk for the Rams, who signed him to a one year, five million dollar contract, because of his character issues and lack of commitment. The Dolphins overpaid for Suh, end of story. That was okay. Then the Lions panicked and realized they were letting two “names” go. So they traded two mid round draft choices to the Ravens for aging star Haloti Ngata of the Ravens. This was a dumb move, as it cost them two draft choices, which are important for keeping your team stacked with cheap, inexpensive players.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ted Thompson Knows What's Best When I Comes To Free Agent Moves

Packers Ted Thompson
So far, this NFL off season has been one of the most active in recent memory. A flurry of moves has taken place. Specifically a lot of trades have been made. The Eagles and Rams swapped Nick Foles and Sam Bradford. The move is yet another, pointed in the direction of moving up to draft Marcus Mariota, although Chip Kelly will not admit it. The Jets traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills traded for Matt Cassel. The Lions traded for Haloti Ngata, and the Seahawks shook the world when they traded for Jimmy Graham. The Dolphins also have made Suh the highest paid defensive player in the NFL, and guaranteed him 60 million dollars.

Throughout all of this madness, Packers general manager Ted Thompson has sat quietly, and gone about his business just as he always has, just as he always will. Thompson took the time to re-sign Randall Cobb and Brian Bulaga. That may not seem like a big deal, but if you look at the contracts, they are. Randall Cobb is back for 10 million a year, two less than he would have gotten if he would have left. Thompson then added another year to his contract offer to Bulaga, and managed to keep him for just under seven million a year. This is significant considering the fact that Bulaga could have gotten over 8 million a year, had he hit the open market. Thompson then sat back and let the Jaguars overpay for the oft-injured Davon House, who has never played a full season. He is also prepared to let other teams overpay for the gaining Tramon Williams, who maybe has two good seasons left in him, at best.

This is what makes Thompson so good. He makes moves when he needs to, and when he does, he makes the cap hit as team friendly as possible. He also is willing to sit back and let other teams overpay for his players. Thompson has a number in mind for each player, and when they exceed that number, he shows them the door.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Favre Jersey Retirement Party Should Be Put On Hold For Now

Favre Retirement Jersey
The news that broke earlier today was about some guy who used to play for the Packers who wore number four. Yes that guy, and no, he is not coming out of retirement for a 47th time to play for said team to get back at the Packers because of some sort of angry vendetta he holds against Ted Thompson. No, this actually pertains to the Packers themselves. Here is a link to read the actual story. 

You know, Mark Murphy has been pushing this for a long time now. Yes I understand why people think it is important to retire his jersey number before he enters the NFL Hall of Fame. I don’t agree with that sentiment, but I do understand the argument. I'll have more on that in a moment. I understand some of Brett Favre’s most loyal supporters will have a nostalgia moment here, no matter how few of them there are left. I understand everything he accomplished as a member of the Packers.

As we get away farther and farther away from the Brett Favre years, I begin to think more about the words of a good friend of mine named Stu Johnson. This man has been like my big brother since I was about 9 years old when my father was dying of cancer. He was never a Brett Favre supporter, and he insisted for years that Brett Favre was overrated. Now being young and na├»ve, I did not listen to him, as I was wrapped up in Brett Favre mania. He once told me most people don’t realize just how much Brett Favre hindered the Packers more than helped them. He did win some games, but he also cost them a lot of games with his decision making and determination to be the hero every time. I didn’t believe Stu at first, but now I agree with him as we are able to review Favre’s career from a fair viewpoint. But I am getting too far off track here, back to the original news story.

Yes it will be a “celebration” when his jersey number is retired this upcoming season. However, people are already forgetting this man committed the unforgivable sin. He turned his back on the very people who made him NFL immortality. The old saying goes “immortality has a price.” Well, he refused to pay that price at the end of his career, and now it should cost him his “immortal” moment, having his number retired right now. However, as we all know, he looked like a fool trying to seek revenge on the Packers and the Packers came out of it looking great. Now, the Packers have all of the leverage in this relationship. However, Mark Murphy seems hell bent on giving up that leverage.  He should have just dropped the subject a long time ago, and let Brett Favre bring it up at some point down the road.

Yes, I understand this will be a big deal for some, but I am not one of them. Not enough time has passed yet in my opinion, which is why I refuse to hang the man’s Christmas ornament on my tree.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My NFL Best of the Best 2014

NFL best of class 2014
The week after the NFL conference championship games are played, the league hands out awards to its players. I am going to hand out mine now.

Coach of the year: Bruce Arians/Arizona Cardinals. Second: Jason Garrett/Dallas Cowboys. Third: Bill O’Brien/Houston Texans. Fourth: Ron Rivera/Carolina Panthers. Fifth: Mike McCarthy/Green Bay Packers.

It has to be Bruce Arians, and it will be unanimously. Arians kept the Cardinals afloat with no offense and a third string quarterback signed off the street in November. If Carson Palmer had been healthy all season, the Cardinals would have been the number one overall seed and would be on their way to the Super Bowl.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aaron Donald/DE/St. Louis Rams. Second: Chris Borland/LB/San Francisco 49ers. Third: Ha-Ha Clinton Dix/S/Green Bay Packers. Fourth: Kyle Fuller/CB/Chicago Bears. Fifth: Khalil Mack/LB/Oakland Raiders.

Aaron Donald instantly established himself along a great defensive front in St. Louis, and was an integral part of the pass rush that beat the crap out of every quarterback they played this season. Chris Borland stepped up for the injured Patrick Willis and did better than anyone could have imagined. Ha-Ha got better as the season went along.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Odell Beckham Jr./WR/New York Giants. Second: Corey Linsley/C/Green Bay Packers. Third: Jeremy Hill/RB/Cincinnati Bengals Fourth: Teddy Bridgewater/QB/Minnesota Vikings Fifth: Jace Amaro/TE/New York Jets

If offensive lineman got a fair shake in this award, Corey Linsley would win it easily. But they don’t, so he is number two. Anyone who grades out as the 4th best center in the league as a 5th round rookie who didn’t even know he was going to be the starting center until a week before the regular season is the best rookie in the league. But, due to people’s obsession with style, it goes to the flashy Odell Beckham, who quickly established himself as Eli Manning’s new favorite target without Victor Cruz. Teddy Bridgewater also did extremely well under the circumstances he was put in.

Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt/DE/Houston Texans

I could list other players, but it would be pointless. Watt had one of the best seasons for a defensive player in NFL history, and is going win this award with every single first place vote. He is also going to get some serious MVP consideration.

Most Valuable Player: Aaron Rodgers/QB/Green Bay Packers Second: DeMarco Murray/RB/Dallas Cowboys Third: Ben Roethlisberger/QB/Pittsburgh Steelers Fourth: J.J. Watt/DE/Houston Texans Fifth; Tony Romo/QB/Dallas Cowboys