Posted: Monday February 25, 2008 9:02AM; Updated: Monday February 25, 2008 2:22PM
8. Agent Drew Rosenhaus is trying to scare up business in the Chad Johnson market. And failing, from what I gather. There's no question the Redskins want Johnson. Washington still thinks gathering as many receivers as possible is the quickest way to the Super Bowl. But Rosenhaus is not finding a lot of interest for Johnson out there. I still think the Bengals would listen to a good offer for the unhappy Johnson, but it's going to have to be more than a giveaway because of the cap hit Cincinnati would take by dumping Chad.
9. Sounds like the United Football League is going to happen in 2009. Prospective UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue told agents the other day it will be an eight-team league (he said six owners, including Mark Cuban, are already in place), beginning in August 2009. The details were sketchy from there, but some agents reported that the minimum salary would be $75,000, the league would go after existing NFL personnel people and assistant coaches to be the league's GMs and head coaches, and the league would try to sign some of the 30th through 43rd players on NFL rosters for slightly more money than they'd make in the big league.
10. Other quickie free-agent tidbits I hear: The Jets will go after 31-year-old Pittsburgh guard Alan Faneca, but not after former Eric Mangini pupil Asante Samuel ... Seattle's torn about whether to cut Shaun Alexander ... San Francisco is interested in Cincinnati defensive end Justin Smith, who, almost by default in a terrible pass-rush market, will make good money ... Jacksonville might give Washington competition when the Redskins try to re-sign backup quarterback Todd Collins, who won't beat out Jason Campbell but is an insurance-policy priority for Jim Zorn ...
This year's unknown offensive lineman about to strike it rich, a la Derrick Dockery a year ago: Jaguar tackle/guard Mo Williams. Detroit could be interested there ... This year's smart franchise tag that looked really stupid at first: Cincinnati's 6-7, 340-pound guard Stacy Andrews, who would have been a $7-million-a-year player somewhere (maybe Atlanta) had he tasted freedom ... Byron Leftwich, Trent Green and Daunte Culpepper all think they have NFL starts left in them. They're not going to have many suitors. I'll tell you a perfect fit for Culpepper: Chicago. He should battle with Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman for the starting job.
Whew. There's a lot going on in this league for the offseason.
Quote of the Week I
"We're not players [in free-agency this year]. I'm not a gambler. I don't even like to play Bingo. I just like putting my money in the basket on Sunday.''
--Indianapolis president Bill Polian on Sunday, talking about the Colts' plans for free agency this offseason.
Quote of the Week II
"It's beyond awful.''
--Lions president Matt Millen, describing Detroit's 31-81 record in his seven seasons as Lions president. The Lions have neither made the playoffs nor had a winning record in any season during his tenure.
Quote of the Week III
"I've got this old saying: A spade is a spade. I'm definitely a spade.''
--Central Florida running back Kevin Smith, in the middle of a group session with reporters Saturday.
I didn't know what he meant, so I asked him to clarify. "If you have game, you have game," he said. "I'm not one to try to hide it. I'm not trying to boost any attributes of myself. I play the game of football. Everyone who watches me, you either like it or you don't. I play running back and I'm very good at playing running back."
Oh. Now I get it.
Stat of the Week
As I wrote earlier, the Eagles may sign Asante Samuel. If I were them, I'd think twice. If the Giants' defensive performance in the Super Bowl proved one thing, it's that defending the pass is more about pass-rush than about coverage; who'd have ever thought Corey Webster, Aaron Ross, a depleted Sam Madison and R.W. McQuarters could shut down Tom Brady? They didn't. A suffocating rush did.
As free-agency approaches on Friday morning, let's examine how the San Francisco 49ers were affected by the addition of two big-ticket defensive backs in free agency last March -- cornerback Nate Clements (eight years, $80 million) and safety Michael Lewis (six years, $29.6 million) -- by comparing their 2006 pass defense to 2007.
You show me the great impact. I can't see it.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
Wide receiver Adarius Bowman of Oklahoma State didn't do all of the physical tests at the combine because he had Lasik surgery too close to the event. Now, if you were about to go through the biggest job interview of your life, wouldn't you plan your elective surgery so that you wouldn't miss the interview?