Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Free-Agency Madness:
b. Fred Taylor, humble, helpful, classic unselfish vet,115 carries this year. Perfect fit in Foxboro.
c. The Giants must think Fred Robbins can't hold up anymore. They now have five inside rushers -- Robbins, Bernard, Canty, Barry Cofield and Jay Alford -- to rotate. Or maybe one to trade. Or maybe Canty to play more outside that inside.
d. Kurt Warner is apparently serious about going to visit the 49ers. But if he ever signs there, it will be the greatest upset of this -- and many other -- free-agency seasons.
e. You tried on Houshmandzadeh, Seattle. Taking him up in a pontoon plane for a city tour and landing on Lake Washington and walking up on the dock to your practice fields. Cool stuff.
f. But I don't think you're getting him.
g. The Cowboys got better at backup with the deal for Jon Kitna.
i. Jason Brown, the new St. Louis center, sure made a lot of money last weekend for a guy no one ever heard of last Wednesday.
j. Weirdest thing I heard over the weekend: Pack gave their coaches the weekend off. They'll be in today, and this week, to work on the free agents. I'm told that has meaning -- that the Packers want to send the message that free agency spending these days is profligate, and they'll get in when the Dan Snyders get out.
2. I would be surprised if Marvin Harrison plays again. Here's the thing about Harrison: He's made more than $80 million in his 13-year career, including $23 million over the last three seasons. He was due to make $9 million this year. His knees are hurt and he doesn't love football enough at this point to play for something like $2 million plus incentives. In fact, I don't think he loves football much at all right now, feeling the way he feels. And he's not going to fake it. Might he go to someone's camp this summer? Only if the gets real money to do so.
3. I think this is my one additional thought on these huge contracts and their huge guarantees: In 2008, DeAngelo Hall signed a seven-year, $68-million deal with the Raiders, with -- allegedly -- $24 million in guaranteed money. So when he got whacked in midseason, how much did he end up earning in Oakland? Exactly $8 million. Not $24 million. Gibril Wilson signs for six years and $39 million and leaves after a year. Insane.
4. I think the best deal of the weekend was Antonio Smith, the versatile defensive lineman for the Cardinals -- and the best defensive lineman they had, one of their former coaches told me at the Super Bowl -- going to the Texans for $7 million per. "I think it's going to be an electrifying year for our defensive line. We [Mario Williams and Smith] are going to be a great pair. We're going to cause a lot of havoc for offensive linemen,'' Smith said.
This is not a good signing by the Texans for the money. It's a great signing.
5. I think our prayers go out to the people lost at sea off the Florida coast, including NFLers Marquis Cooper of the Raiders and Corey Smith of the Lions. Can we hope there are tiny islands they might have found? Our sincere good wishes and prayers to the families.
6. I think you've got to be kidding, Brandon Marshall. Disorderly conduct in Atlanta over the weekend? That's got to be a suspension.
7. I think I have a few questions for the Broncos about their weekend, but this might be one no one else would ask: A long-snapper, for $1 million a year? That's what they paid Lonie Paxton Friday.
9. I think I respect the new Bucs' management team, but I wonder if GM Mark Dominik has bitten off more than he can chew with the acquisition of (and overpayment of) tight end Kellen Winslow. The Bucs paid a second-round pick in 2009 and a conditional 2010 pick for Winslow, who butted heads with the coaches and management consistently in Cleveland. The Bucs brought him in after being assured by new tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts (formerly of Cleveland) that Winslow is OK, and after doing an MRI on the knee that has troubled him extensively since his motorcycle accident.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. I'm dying to know what illegal substances the writers of Family Guy are on when they write that show.
b. I'll pay $50 to the first person who ends winter.
c. I was ready to clobber my New Jersey Devils for sending goalie Scott Clemmensen to the minors the other day to make room for Martin Brodeur's return. Clemmensen was playing as well as Brodeur has in recent year -- and he did it for three solid months. It just seemed unfair and so cruel to send the guy down. Well, Brodeur came back Thursday night. He played Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, allowed two goals total, and registered the 99th and 100th shutouts of his career. What a franchise.
d. Coffeenerdness: Mitch Puin, you threw me a lifesaver Sunday at the Upper Montclair Starbucks, and you know it. I owe you big time for rescuing me in my need-a-fix time when I was wallet-less and needed help getting through the checkout. Thank you.
e. New York, and not only the football fans, is really going to like Bart Scott.
f. Happy birthday, Marcy "Mike Ticey'' Fost. How old are you? Sixteen?
g. Walked into the family room Sunday night and there was Steve Buscemi getting ready to whack the old man in Fargo, and it was all I could do to keep from sitting down to watch the rest. What a movie.
h. Great job, Bill Pennington of the New York Times, on the story about the University of Maine-Presque Isle baseball team, which plays only road games because its home field is never clear of snow 'til May. What a cool story of kids who play for the true love of the game.