Notes from Indy (cont.)
Posted: Monday February 26, 2007 8:27AM; Updated: Wednesday February 28, 2007 1:23PM
4. Cleveland GM Phil Savage is going to have a very tough decision to make. When Adrian Peterson ran a 4.37 40, it set up this pleasant quandary for the Browns, assuming Russell and Thomas go 1-2. The Browns could have their choice of four primo players at positions of major need -- quarterback Brady Quinn, defensive end Gaines Adams, wideout Johnson and running back Peterson. Savage met Peterson on Saturday and was impressed by what a solid rock he is. He might be Eric Dickerson.
5. There was almost a mini-scandal in the coin flip for the third pick in the draft. The Bucs and Browns finished tied for the third pick, because their opponents' won-loss records were identical. So Friday morning, Savage and Tampa Bay GM Bruce Allen met in a Westin Hotel conference room to break the tie for the third pick of the draft. Imagine the significance here.
Allen came into the room with a coin he wanted to use, one from a military base in Florida. That was fine with Savage. League officials Joel Bussert and Ken Fiore ran it. Allen called heads. And when the coin went up in the air, Allen shouted, "Wait! Wait!'' The coin was plucked out of the air. And Allen said, "What are we going to do, let it fall to the floor or catch it and flip it over on your hand?'' Let it fall, he was told. He called heads again. It came up tails.
Pretty big stuff. Might be the difference between the guy who can save your team for the next three or four years or the guy who might be a nice, complimentary player. "It was just nice to get a win,'' said Savage, sounding like a desperate coach. "We gotta string some wins like that together.''
6. Free-agency is going to be insane. I think some team is going to pay Daniel Graham, a blocking tight end, $5 million a year. I think some team (rumored to be Washington, profootballtalk.com reported Sunday night) is going to pay London Fletcher-Baker $6 million a year. I think some team might pay Tampa Bay defensive end Dewayne White (60 career games, 14 sacks) $7 million a year.
I know some team will pay Adalius Thomas $8 million per, minimum. My guess is Thomas gets to $9 million. And within four months, he'll be the best addition of the year to whatever locker room welcomes him. My upset special for a no-name guy who will get the richest: Buffalo defensive end Chris Kelsay.
Football's amazing. Three weeks ago, the Super Bowl was the big story, and we all thought, "Well, that's over. Time to hibernate for a while.'' And now our psyche is all football, again. Sometimes I wonder how a great sport like hockey makes it. This should be the best time of the year for hockey, with the race for the playoffs heating up. But I'll bet you SportsCenter had more minutes of Combine coverage this weekend than Sabres-Senators highlights and other hockey games. Football just doesn't end.
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