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Snap Judgments (cont.)

Posted: Sunday March 4, 2007 6:04PM; Updated: Sunday March 4, 2007 6:04PM
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There will be a number of teams trying to land linebacker Joey Porter.
There will be a number of teams trying to land linebacker Joey Porter.
Michael O'Neill/SI

• Speaking of guaranteed dollars and big money deals, when will we ever learn that just because the 49ers announce the signing of cornerback Nate Clements to an eight-year, $80 million deal -- the largest ever for a defensive player -- it doesn't mean that he's likely to see either eight years in San Francisco or every last dime of that $80 mil?

Clements reportedly is in line to receive $29 million over the first three years of his deal. In the age of the NFL salary cap, when a player's fortunes can change so dramatically from year to year, I defy anyone to say Clements will unquestionably receive all of that. His guaranteed dollars in the deal are $22 million, and that's plenty reason to celebrate. But can we save the eight-year, $80 million baloney? The NFL world will likely turn over five or six times before Clements' contract is scheduled to conclude.

• My favorite line of the entire weekend was tucked away in a Texans press release issued Sunday regarding the media availability of Packers running back Ahman Green, who is on a free-agent visit to Houston.

Green was being made available to reporters who showed up at Reliant Stadium, but they were cautioned in the release to "allow ample travel time due to heavy rodeo traffic.''

You just don't get that kind of heads up living in Boston. I should've been a cowboy.

• All those 3-4 teams who didn't land Thomas will likely be in on the Joey Porter sweepstakes, like San Francisco, the Jets, Dallas, and Cleveland. In addition, Miami and Cincinnati are said to be interested.

I can't help but root for the Jets to make the winning bid, so we can all watch New York and New England match impact free-agent outside linebackers next season in the AFC East.

• Even though Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio came out 10 days ago and declared Byron Leftwich Jacksonville's starter in 2007, there are some league observers who believe the Jags' organization is still quietly monitoring the NFL's quarterbacking landscape this offseason, in case there's a chance to move the 2003 first-round pick and clear the way to start David Garrard.

• Lost in all the confounding events surrounding Jake Plummer this week is this simple question: Why didn't the Texans just agree to give up a second-day draft pick for the former Broncos starter when they had the chance? Probably because they assumed incorrectly that Denver would have to cut him at some point, and they could get him for free. Obviously a miscalculation.

I know Plummer announced his retirement Sunday and that could be that. But I suspect he still wants to be in Houston, and I'm convinced Texans head coach Gary Kubiak still wants him as an alternative to David Carr, so perhaps we have not seen the last of Jake the Snake after all, or of this particular quarterbacking melodrama. Stay tuned, as they say.

• Maybe we can blame the imprint of failure that the Cardinals left on him since taking him second overall in the 2001 draft, but that's a pretty hefty payday the Cowboys just gave offensive tackle Leonard Davis, a guy who never remotely played up to his billing in Arizona.

Dallas needs both a right tackle and a right guard, and Davis has played both positions, without much distinction. But six years of underachievement in Arizona got him a seven-year deal worth a reported $49.6 million (see earlier Nate Clements' note), with the important part being the $18.75 million of guaranteed money in the deal.

It just goes to show, when you're 6-foot-6, 366 pounds, and you just report to work almost every day, good things can happen.

• Detroit head coach Rod Marinelli had defensive end Dewayne White on his defensive line when the two were together in Tampa Bay, so the head Lion must know what he's getting. But Detroit gave White a five-year deal that reportedly is worth $29 million -- which works out to more than $2 million for each of the 14 sacks White has posted in his four-year NFL career.

• I know why the Patriots are going to sign Miami restricted free agent receiver/return man Wes Welker to a seven-year, $38.5 million offer sheet. Because that way, they won't have to play against him. The Dolphins' little 5-foot-9, 185-pound mighty mite seems to run the New England defense ragged every time I seem them play.

• Now that New England signed tight end Kyle Brady, are they really going to have to sew a "T.'' on the back of Tom Brady's uniform so we can tell them apart? Isn't that a waste of lettering?

• Huge kick save and a beauty for the Chargers in keeping standout guard Kris Dielman from running off to Seattle or somewhere else in free agency. That San Diego offensive line is pretty darn vital to everything that happens when the Chargers have the ball.

Just wondering, though, did San Diego general manager A.J. Smith call up his free-agent guard and say, "Here's the Diel, man''?

Work with me, here.

• So Dan "Big Daddy'' Wilkinson is a Bronco. Am I the only one who can't seem to keep track of all the teams defensive tackles like Wilkinson, Sam Adams, Keith Traylor, Lional Dalton and Ted Washington have played for this decade? (And yes, I know they're not all still active. I think). Apparently there's a little-known league rule that says those five guys have to rotate around the NFL every two years.

• The Lions are absolutely going to own the fifth round of this year's draft. After picking up Denver's fifth-rounder in the Dre' Bly trade on Thursday, Detroit now has four selections in that stanza.

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