Early reviews are in (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday March 6, 2007 12:57PM; Updated: Tuesday March 6, 2007 1:06PM
6. The Titans releasing Travis Henry -- Henry resurrected his career in Nashville last season, and his 1,211 yards rushing had plenty to do with Vince Young being in position to win all those games as a rookie. But given the glut of veteran running backs who were on the market this year, paying an $8.3 million roster bonus to a guy who had effectively fallen off the radar screen in 2004-2005 (when he posted fewer than 700 yards rushing combined) didn't make sense financially or otherwise. But we still need to see who the Titans get to replace him, now that Thomas Jones and Ahman Green are locked up.
7. The Lions trading Dre' Bly -- It seems to me that Bly quickly showed his true colors by complaining that he wanted Detroit to trade him to Washington rather than Denver, because the Redskins were willing to give him a new contract and the Broncos aren't. Show me a guy who'd rather play for the perennially losing Redskins than the perennially winning Broncos and I'll show you the type of player that Lions coach Rod Marinelli is trying to weed out of his locker room. At the very least, Detroit got a potential starter at offensive tackle (George Foster) and running back (Tatum Bell) in the Bly trade, which gives them lots of options at No. 2 in the draft.
8. The Bears franchise tag Lance Briggs -- For the 113th time, we'd like to remind the players that the NFLPA was part of the negotiations that produced the free agency system in 1993, and the deal included teams having the right to place a franchise or transition tag on the potential free agents they deem most valuable. The Bears are going to pay Briggs $7.2 million this season as a franchised linebacker, but because he doesn't get a signing bonus and the ability to test his worth on the market this year, now he's crying that he won't play for Chicago ever again. How is it that every year paying someone the average of the top five players at his position gets turned into an insult? If I'm the Bears, I don't flinch for a second. Let Briggs hold out and forfeit his big payday if he thinks he owns the moral ground.
9. The Patriots sign Adalius Thomas -- We've all weighed in pretty well on this one, but there are a couple of other points to like about this addition in New England: First off, it's a real deal. No funny money for agent/player ego purposes. It's five years for $35 million, with $20 million of that being in guarantees and bonuses that Thomas will receive. What a refreshingly realistic approach to free agency mega-contracts. Secondly, Thomas isn't the kind of player to let money dull his drive, his commitment or his enthusiasm for his job. The Patriots did their homework and knew what they were getting, and as basic as that sounds, it doesn't always work that way in other NFL locales.
10. NFL teams give the boot to character cases -- Take note, Pacman Jones, the character issue has been catching up to others around the league in the last 10 days or so. Terrence Kiel and Steve Foley were sent packing by San Diego. Minnesota cut its losses with the clueless Fred Smoot. The 49ers decided they had enough of Antonio Bryant's act, and even well-known me-guys such as Joe Horn and Eric Moulds were not asked back in New Orleans and Houston, respectively.
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