Posted: Monday March 24, 2008 1:19AM; Updated: Monday March 24, 2008 2:17AM
Quote of the Week I
"Those reports are looking pretty strong ... There was filming for the 2002 Super Bowl.''
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, in an interview with radio host Rush Limbaugh Friday, voicing his belief that former New England video assistant Matt Walsh videotaped something illicit -- like a St. Louis Rams practice -- before the Patriots and Rams met in the Super Bowl six years ago.
Quote of the Week II
"He's one of those core guys -- a Matt Hasselbeck, a Walter Jones. We've come to an agreement that will essentially make him a Seahawk for life.''
Seattle president Tim Ruskell, after the Seahawks signed linebacker Lofa Tatupu to a $42-million contract extension that runs through 2015.
Stat of the Week
Randy Moss' three-year, $27-million contract with the Patriots seems to have netted each side what it wanted. Moss gets $12 million in a signing bonus, and the Patriots get reasonable salary-cap numbers in each year of the contract for the most explosive receiver in football. See chart above for Moss' cap numbers in each of the three seasons of the contract, and what percentage of the cap his deal will probably chew up each year.
(*Note: The cap numbers for 2009 are an estimate based on projected NFL income. There may be no cap in 2010 because it could end up being an uncapped year if the players and owners dissolve the current collective bargaining agreement and do not reach a new deal before 2010. So the figure I use is the best guess if there is a cap.)
My point: What team wouldn't pay the best receiving weapon in the game -- coming off the best year of his career as, apparently, a reformed team player -- an average of 7 percent of its salary cap over the next three years?
Aggravating/Enjoyable Travel Note of the Week
Rant of the Week: I paid $62 to fill my 18-gallon tank with gas on Thursday in New Jersey. With $4-a-gallon gas around the corner (I hear it's already here for premium in California), I have only one question: Where's the outrage? Why are our elected officials doing nothing -- nothing that any of us can see -- about it? I can afford gas, but how about the people who cannot? I can't believe we just let things like this happen in our society.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
I've had my share of skepticism over the Kris Jenkins deal with the Jets. He's had back problems and weight issues in recent years, and he's a defensive tackle moving from the 4-3 to the 3-4, and yet the Jets guaranteed him $20 million. But upon further review, I like one thing about the contract very much: There are weight and workout clauses worth $750,000 annually in the contract. Lots of contracts have workout bonuses in them, maybe for $100,000. But three-quarters of a million is something you've really got to respect. You can't just throw that away.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think Randy Moss is one thing. But Pacman Jones? I can't see the Patriots taking a chance on him. Moss was often lazy in Oakland, but he didn't get in nearly the trouble Jones has been in during his first three NFL years. Jones has Dallas written all over him, even though there are approximately 6,479 strip clubs within 15 minutes of Valley Ranch.
2. I think, by the way, that if I were Cowboy owner Jerry Jones, I'd send my private eye to check out Pacman pretty closely before entering into any trade discussions with Tennessee. I'd especially want to find out about any possible pets on Pacman's property.
3. I think this is the way I see the Chad Johnson situation going down. Cincinnati starts its offseason program today at Paul Brown Stadium. Johnson, presumably, will skip it. Johnson, presumably, will miss the entire offseason program, hoping that will force the Bengals to trade him to Washington or Dallas. It won't.
Bengals owner Mike Brown and coach Marvin Lewis won't have Chad Johnson force them into a trade that would screw their salary-cap situation this year. So Johnson sits out 'til camp. Then he doesn't show up for camp. Things get contentious, then ugly, then a sideshow. Johnson makes a few silly public appearances and rips the Bengals. Finally, two weeks before the season, Cincinnati trades Johnson to Dallas for the Cowboys' first-round pick in 2009.
Do I know anything? No. But I believe the scenario I just detailed, knowing the stubbornness of all parties involved, is more likely than Johnson caving in late August and reporting to the team.
4. I think the jury will be out on DeAngelo Hall until he completes an incident-free year and plays at his peak. As one NFC South scout told me Friday: "We're thrilled he's out of the division. He didn't always play at his best, and he was a risk-taker, but he's definitely a top-10 talent at cornerback in the league.''
Oakland's gambling that Hall will help turn the franchise around, obviously. I've questioned Hall's maturity and consistency, and he's going into one of the most unstable situations in football. I don't think the odds are good that this will be a happy marriage.
5. I think it's interesting to note that 32 teams had representatives at Vanderbilt's pro day Friday, while Boston College had 22 at its session on Tuesday. Vandy has more pro prospects than BC, but it's odd to note that BC will have two picks go in the first two rounds -- Ryan and offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus -- and still 10 teams skipped the pro day.
6. I think Ben Utecht will be a perfect fit with Carson Palmer. I love the signing for Cincinnati -- especially if their silly wide receivers stage job actions that take them out of camp this summer.
7. I think I still haven't figured out how Brian Brohm could be rated a top-10 pick in 2007 and drop to second-roundville in 2008 after having completed 65 percent of his throws as a senior, with 30 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while playing for a new coach. Explain that to me. Someone. Anyone.
8. I think the Jason Elam signing by Atlanta will pay off in one win from a long field goal that Morten Andersen, God Bless that 48-year-old leg of his, would not have made.
9. I think, Giant beat writers, you might sniff around this one: New Orleans is not through trying to acquire Jeremy Shockey.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. Wow. Dell Curry's kid, Stephen Curry, is scary good.
b. How could you not love the Western Kentucky-Drake first-round game? One for the ages, and a finish even better than that.
c. The Devils are maddening to watch. They're just not good enough on offense to win the Stanley Cup, I fear.
d. Sports Quiz: What do Miami Heat coach Pat Riley, Baseball Prospectus info and injury guru Will Carroll and Cincinnati Enquirer Bengals beat man Mark Curnutte have in common? Answer below.
e. I missed the Obama speech on race, but read a transcript of it. What a smart man. Whatever you think of his politics, you have to admire a man with a brain who uses it.
f. Want to read an enjoyable blog, a guy who blogs the way blogs were meant to blog? David O'Brien has a great slice-of-spring-training-life in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Very human, with snippets of how he does his job (not as easy as you think), the music that accompanies him on trips around central Florida chasing the Braves, and the fun scenes he sees -- like the Hooters with the defunct Hooters Motel behind it.
g. My rotisserie team for the season, following our draft in Fairfield, N.J., the other night: Infield -- David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Yunel Escobar, Mike Lowell, J.R. Towles/Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Outfield -- Grady Sizemore, Ichiro, Eric Byrnes. Starters -- Dan Haren, Carlos Zambrano, Chien-Ming Wang, Dustin McGowan, Joe Blanton. Closers -- Jose Valverde, Mariano Rivera, Manny Corpas.
Two questions you'll have: What are those Yankees doing there? And don't you need some more power? Answers: When you need closers, and 11 are off the board already, Rivera's too good a value to pass up; and re Wang, 19 wins is 19 wins. And yes, I need power. I've got Ankiel on my bench, and we'll see if he's as good as the legend is starting to say he is.
h. How funny did David Ortiz look in his Japanese saki costume?
i. Paul Kirk, we in the media business will miss you like crazy. You're a true pro in every sense, and you did your job for 13 years with the Broncos in PR with diligence and care. (The Broncos laid off Kirk and seven other front-office employees last week.)
j. Quiz answer: Riley, Carroll and Curnutte saw Bruce Springsteen in concert in the past week -- in Milwaukee, Indianapolis and Cincinnati, respectively.
k. Seventeen days 'til "The Office'' returns.
3 of 3