Monday, February 25, 2008

Bears Free Agents and Free Agency

In a couple of days the NFL free agency period begins (midnight, February 29). The Bears extended TE Dez Clark and QB Kyle Orton.

I expect the Bears will go out and sign a veteran offensive lineman and possibly a defensive tackle. They will probably at least talk to Michael Turner and will keep an eye out for anyone else who may be available to provide depth.

The three big free agents the Bears have, WR Bernard Berrian, LB Lance Briggs, and Pro-Bowl special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo are all represented by Drew Rosenhaus. As I have been expecting, all three will test the open market and see what comes out, but Drew Rosenhaus has confirmed that the Bears will have an opportunity to match. They have cap room and can probably match for at least 1 or 2 of the guys if they feel like it is worth it. We'll have to see what these guys are offered, but the Bears will be "in the mix."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rex Returning

Rex signed a one year deal for $3 million. He can earn another $2 million in bonuses. It is good for both the Bears and Rex. Rex can come back to a system he understands and if he plays well he will be able to earn a big contract. If he doesn't the Bears and Rex can part ways.

With Rex coming back, Berrian is more likely to stay. I still think he will test the free agent market, but I cannot imagine he will not give the Bears a chance to counter any offer he gets.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Barack Obama!

Another 2 more states (landslides) for him. I think he will win Texas and come close in Ohio. At that point, Hillary should bow out. I'd like to see her take over as the Majority Leader in the Senate. Reid has been weak and she could really excel.

The one thing I hope she does not do, for her own good and Barack's good, is go overly negative in an effort to win. I really don't think it will work, because people really want change. They will see it as a desperate attempt to play politics as usual, and it will hurt her own legacy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Moose Cut Loose

The Bears cut Muhsin Muhammad, Fred Miller, and Darwin Walker. Not really surprising when you look at their production, cap numbers, and ages. The Bears end up freeing about $15 million in cap space, so they have about $35 million to spend this offseason.

If they make some moves to bring in a couple of key players it will be worth it.

I like Moose and wish him well. I think he still has about 2-3 years left in the tank, but he was going to count about $3.1 million toward this year's cap. That money is better spent elsewhere.

Given Urlacher's neck, and their cash situation, I would expect them to make another offer to Briggs. They should also try to lock up Hester for a longer term. He still has 2 years left on his rookie contract, but it may be time to look at rewarding him.

I am sure they will reach out to Michael "the Burner" Turner (LT's backup in San Diego), but I really don't want them to break the bank on Turner. I'd rather they look to the draft or a mid-range backup running back. As I have been saying - go O line and D line to rebuild the big boys up front. Then everything else can fall into place.

It will be interesting to see what direction they go.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Jerry Angelo's Thoughts

Bears GM Jerry Angelo has stated that O-line and D-line are priorities this off-season. That is good to hear. In virtually every mock draft I have seen the Bears take O tackles or D tackles with their first pick. I hope they do that. I'd like to see 2 or 3 of the top 4 picks going toward linemen. I'd also like to see 2-3 free agent linemen brought aboard.

Start up front and then build. I want to see Rex back but he will test the open market. I'd also like to see the Bears draft and/or pick up another quality (not necessarily "star") running back for depth.

Salary Cap Cuts

The free agency period starts on February 29 and teams have to be under the cap by that time. The Redskins reworked Cooley's contract and spread out his signing bonus over multi-years so now they are "only" about $4 million over the cap. They are going to have to cut a couple of guys and/or rework a couple of more contracts. The problem is that they don't have any money for free agents unless they do a whole lot more cutting.

They can save about $7 million for this year if they cut Jansen and Lloyd (there would be $12 million in dead cap in 2009), but they cannot do that until after June 1. So don't expect those stiffs to get the heave ho until summer (if at all).

If I were betting, I'd say Daniels and Griffin will be cut to get them under the cap (about $4.6M in savings), there will be a couple of reworked contracts - Portis and Washington and perhaps Jansen if they are going to keep him. That will give them enough to buy a free agent or two if they want to do that. But again, the cap problems will only be worse next year.

As I have said, the Redskins would be better served completely remaking the team and getting some control over their cap so that they can truly build a winner.

Should be an interesting couple of weeks. Miami is an interesting team. They made a ton of cuts (not surprising with a 1-15 team), and have about $45 million in cap space to remake their team.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

If Bears Lose Briggs

No big deal. Lance Briggs is a good football player, but he is not the star linebacker that a lot of people think he is. Brian Urlacher is clearly the difference maker and playing weakside linebacker with Urlacher makes one a star.

Warrick Holdman was the weakside linebacker before moving on to Cleveland, then Washington, and now Denver. His last full year as the starter in Chicago these were his stats:

109 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 9 passes defensed

His best year after leaving Chicago was his year with Cleveland when he had 78 tackles, .5 sack, 0 forced fumbles and 2 passes defensed.

After Holdman lost his starting job in Chicago, Roosevelt Colvin became the weakside linebacker. His stats were as follows:

64 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 9 passes defensed

His best year with New England after leaving Chicago was in 2005 when he had 61 tackles, 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 2 passes defensed.

This past year, Lance Briggs missed two games and had lower numbers than 2006. Here are his best numbers (from 2006):

134 tackles, 1 sack, 4 forced fumbles, and 9 passes defensed

If he leaves, he will see his numbers come down for two reasons. He won't be in the Bears D which pushes plays toward the weakside linebacker, and more important, he won't be playing next to Brian Urlacher.

That said, I'd like to see him in Chicago, but they paid him $7.2M last year and the team went 7-9. I don't want them to break the bank on him. I strongly believe that Jamar Williams can easily replace him and they have Michael Okwo in the draft last year, so they can move on. The big thing for the Bears this year is what the health of Brian Urlacher will be. He played with pain much of last year and still put up huge numbers. But, the clock is running out on his body.

Barack Rolling!

Barack Obama won in landslides in the Potomac Primaries yesterday. It was awesome. The biggest thing is that he is continuing to build momentum and he is doing it by cutting into Hillary's base of support. Folks making under $50K voted for him, white men voted for him, Hispanics voted for him, and nearly as many women voted for him.

Assuming he wins in Wisconsin and Hawaii (which I fully expect), the Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4 are critical. If he wins either one of those, he will likely sail to the nomination. I think he may end up winning both.

I watched Barack's victory speech last night and it was moving as usual. Then, McCain gave his victory speech and the contrast was impossible not to notice. Barack stook energized in front of a raucous crowd. McCain stood with a bunch of old men around him on a stage in front of a largely polite and quiet crowd.

I am beginning to believe that the Republicans are going to get wiped out by a landslide Democratic victory that just rides along on the Barack Obama wave.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Jim Zorn?

The Redskins promoted Zorn to head coach after signing him to be the OC about 2 weeks ago. I have mixed feelings on him largely because I don't know him and the Redskins cap situation is really bad.

It seems to me that Zorn was kind of a fall back position and that if all had gone well Fassel was to be the coach. I think the fan reaction changed everything for Fassel. He has never been an OC and will now take over as head coach. He may be a good choice, we'll have to see.

I don't think it makes a lot of sense from the standpoint that JC is not really a good fit for the Zorn offense. The biggest challenge for Zorn will be winning over players and installing a new offense that will likely require this veteran laden offense to learn an all new offense. I would not be surprised to see a veteran who is a better fit at QB signed - Rex Grossman perhaps?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Would You Trust Me?

The guy really knows how to fail and continue to move upwards. Danny Boy loves him.


Here is a story about Tom Cruise becoming the next Redskins coach (obviously it is a joke).

Redskins Coach a "Devalued Position"

La Canfora just posted some more details on his blog about what went down with Spags. In the end he writes:

Spagnuolo and Jim Mora both pulled out on the Redskins and went on to lucrative deals elsewhere. Gregg Williams was on the verge of pulling out several times with Joe Gibbs urging him not to, and got a good gig in Jacksonville. Al Saunders was snapped up by St. Louis as soon as he was cut loose. Bill Cowher and Pete Carroll didn't want the job under this front office structure at all.

Looks like a highly devalued position. Hard to spin it any other way.

It is so patently obvious that Danny Boy is F'ing up the Redskins, but JKD will just say that I am "hating." I just cannot stand the utter incompetence. I'm not a Redskin fan (mainly because of Danny Boy), but I simply cannot understand how JKD and other fans can sit there and defend the organization and Danny Boy as he continues to stuff a cucumber up their collective arses.


The N.Y. Daily News is quoted as saying:

. . . several people in the Giants’ organization had warned him about Snyder’s meddling ways – as evidenced by the fact that the Redskins’ offensive and defensive coordinators have already been hired – and the fact that the ‘Skins are currently nearly $20 million over the projected 2008 salary cap.

Obama Rising

Super Tuesday was a big night for Obama. He showed that he is a viable candidate by doing well in many Red States and Blue States.

The most remarkable thing is that after raising a record $32 million in January, he has raised $7.2 million in the last 48 hours. The people are speaking and they look to be shouting for change through Obama.

Hillary admitted yesterday that she had to loan her campaign $5 million before Super Tuesday just to stay afloat.

All the momentum is swinging to Obama, the question is will he translate that into wins this week.

Washington, Louisiana, and Nebraska voters will vote on Saturday (194 total delegates). Maine on Sunday (34 delegates). And, the Chesapeake (Maryland, Virginia, and DC) Primary is next Tuesday (238 total delegates). Depending on what happens, Obama may be in complete control a week from now. Only Maine and perhaps Virginia seem like they may go to Clinton at this point - but the other 5 look like solid Obama ground. It should be interesting.

Jim Fassel will be Named Coach

La Canfora wrote that Spags left at about 1:00 am last night without a contract. Looks like the new coach of the Redskins is going to be Fassel. Not surprising if it happens. I think Danny Boy had already made up his mind but then got cold feet when the fan reaction was so bad.

I feel sorry for guys like Spags and Gregg for having to endure 20 hour sessions with that arrogant SOB and his snivelling lapdog, Vinny.

Fassel seem like just the kind of guy who will go along with anything Danny Boy and Vinny tell him. He is desperate to get back into the NFL and at least Danny Boy pays well.

I may be wrong, but I suspect within the next 24 hours or so, Jim Fassel will be named the new head football coach of the once great organization known as the Washington Redskins.

What is With Danny Boy?

Spags is in town and going through the f'ed up 14-hour interview. Here is a question for JKD, Deepie, and anyone else who is interested. Why does he have the coaching candidates sleep over at his house?

I have a theory. He has secret cameras in the house so that he can get his jollies watching guys do their thing. He can also secure some blackmail material that he can hold on to if things go bad and someone bad mouths him. Some video of candidates showering, going to the bathroom, farting, snoring really loud or whatever. Of course, the videos that I am alleging may be entertainment for Vinny and Danny Boy as they go through their 14 hour weekend love fests with each other.

Vinny probably spends the night regularly and they wear specially-made, monogrammed, matching Redskin PJ's.

Gregg probably couldn't get the job because he refused to sleep over.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Post-Super Tuesday Thoughts

I loved it. It is clear that Barack Obama has had a surge in momentum. I have been waiting to post something until more of the results were finalized. Contrary to some of the early projections of delegates, it looks like he now leads the delegate count 838-834 over Hillary Clinton. These figures do not include super delegates who can switch their votes at the convention. Hillary has about 100 more super delegates right now, but I fully expect the super delegates to change their votes depending on how things go with the primaries.

A week ago, I am quite certain he would have ended at least 200 delegates behind Clinton. Now he is leading.

McCain looks like he is going to be the Republican nominee, but man, the Republican base is really turned off by McCain and there just isn't any enthusiasm.

Just consider the following vote totals by state:

Obama (first number) vs. McCain (second number)
157,000 vs. 213,000 (Arizona)
1.7 million vs. 975,000 (California)
78,000 vs. 43,000 (Arkansas)
490,000 vs. 310,000 (New Jersey)
698,000 vs. 311,000 (New York)
700,000 vs. 304,000 (Georgia)
302,000 vs. 211,000 (Alabama)
512,000 vs. 204,000 (Massachusetts)
251,000 vs. 175,000 (Tennessee)
1.3 million vs. 418,000 (Illinois)
130,000 vs. 123,000 (Oklahoma)
179,000 vs. 79,000 (Connecticut)
405,000 vs. 194,000 (Missouri)
70,000 vs. 15,000 (Utah)
51,000 vs. 23,000 (Delaware)
295,000 vs. 147,000 (South Carolina)
105,000 vs. 88,000 (New Hampshire)

When you look at the numbers, there is clearly an energized Democratic electorate and a subdued Republican electorate. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Couple of Post Super Bowl Thoughts

The Giants win gives every team hope for next year. I think the Giants organization is one of the best in the NFL. They are patient, draft well, and seem to have an ability to resolve conflicts that destroy other teams. I think they benefitted from Tiki's retirement and from Shockey's injury which probably helped their team unity by eliminating cancers in the locker room. But, the way they handled Tom Coughlin was quite unique. They talked to him about his communication skills with players and he worked out a good system of building relationships with some of the team's veteran leaders. That worked out nicely.

The Giants also were very patient with a very inconsistent Eli Manning. However, you could always see flashes from Eli. I believe I read that he had had 8 TD drives in the final five minutes of games to win games from the Giants in the past. They let him work through his problems and now, no matter what happens the rest of his career, the Giants can feel comfortable that they traded for him and he can be comfortable knowing that he is a Super Bowl champ.

Finally, they Giants really built their strength around the O and D lines and then worked out. Their O line did a nice job all year, but their D line and their front 7 are just beasts. The control the line of scrimmage in the run game and they get a lot of pressure on the QB with their front 4.

Looking at what the Giants did, I really hope that the Bears sign Rex, and work on their O and interior D lines. They really need 2 new starters on the O line, and they need 2 more interior D linemen for depth. I'd like to see them also either draft or sign another running back for depth.