1. I think I've never looked forward to a training-camp odyssey as much as this year. Think of how many teams have compelling stories -- and on top of it all, one of those camps is going to have Nnamdi Asomugha walk into it.
2. I think Asomugha wants to play for the Jets. Great idea, but would any team in football pay its starting corners one-quarter of the entire salary cap? That's about what it would take to pair Nnamdi with Darrelle Revis.
3. I think I doubt Brett Favre would come back to play another year of football, though if he's going to back up anyone anywhere, it would be Mike Vick in Philadelphia.
Media maestro Howard Eskin reported the possibility of this Saturday night; Jay Glazer solidly knocked it down Sunday. And so it goes. I'm not buying it. But Favre loves Andy Reid, his Green Bay quarterback coach in 1997 and '98. He loves Doug Pederson (who was in Favre's foursome in California when Favre got the news of his father's death the day before that game in Oakland in 2003), one of Favre's good friends and now the Eagle quarterback coach. And he has nothing much to do these days. Why not hold a clipboard for $4 million for five months? I believe it will not happen. But we shall see.
4. I think, by the way, I almost gagged when NFL Network -- which I believe did an outstanding job Thursday night into Friday covering the owners and players in "Let's Make a Deal'' -- ran an inspirational reel of Favre highlights Sunday night.
I'm not a TV programmer, but a note to NFLNet: Fans hate Brett Favre right now. Fans don't want to see the same highlights you ran 63 times when he retired two years ago and then 63 times again last winter. It makes them throw bricks through TVs, which is not good for ratings. Sometimes I honestly think TV does more damage to Favre than Favre does to Favre.
5. I think what's going to be interesting about the early days of Colts camp is whether Peyton Manning's going to be in it. Not only does his neck hurt -- when he's hurt, he hates to be in the public eye of training camp -- but also he's not signed.
When last we left the lovely couple of Tom Condon (agent for Manning) and Bill Polian (president of Colts), Polian had made Condon an offer for Manning to be the highest-paid player in pro football history (by a lot), and Condon said no. So this ought to be an amiable, fun contract negotiation, with Condon already having turned down approximately a fifth of the Indy salary cap for one player.
6. I think the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be very, very busy in free agency.
7. I think this is the first time ever a free-agency period has 10 solid starters at an important position like cornerback. I don't recall ever seeing one spot so full of restricted and unrestricted guys who can help a good team. From Nnamdi Asomugha all the way down to Kelly Jennings, it's a heck of a solid group.
8. I think if Asomugha had his way, he'd sign with the Jets. The coach, the team, the city, the causes ... it all appeals to him. There's just this little matter of the Jets being $1.3-million over the cap before they start whittling away at it to get in line with the league's $120.4-million, fairly hard cap. (You can go over the cap in one year by $3 million for one player.)
As Rich Cimini astutely pointed out the other day on his Jets blog, they could restructure Mark Sanchez and Darrelle Revis (due to count a total of $27.8 million against the cap this year), and they could take linebacker David Harris' franchise number of $10.4 million this year and lower it by converting it into the first year of a long-term contract. Remember, Santonio Holmes is a priority to sign, so assume that would take about $7 million this year. The Jets would probably have to cut two or three vets and not re-sign Antonio Cromartie to have any chance of getting into Asomugha's financial league -- even if it means Asomugha would take significantly less to go to New Jersey than, say, to Dallas or Houston.
9. I think Matt Hasselbeck ends up in Tennessee. Just a guess. But the Titans would give him what he wants -- a starting job, a two-year contract and the ability to mentor a kid he likes from Seattle, Jake Locker. I'd be surprised if Seattle antes up two years for Hasselbeck. I think they'll go with someone else, someone young and able to develop, like former Viking Tavaris Jackson. Makes sense. He'd be reunited with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, now Seattle's OC.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. In what will certainly make Sirius XM NFL Radio boss Steve Cohen deliriously happy, a man approached me while in line for the breakfast buffet one morning at our hotel in Vienna. "I guess this means you won't be on Sirius this morning,'' he said.
b. Another fellow came up to me in Venice and said how much he liked that I took the Acela up and down the East Coast. "So do I,'' I said.
c. Thanks to my four pinch-hitters for this column while I was gone. Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth, an NFLPA executive board member, was eloquent about the future of the game; Army First Sergeant Mike McGuire made us proud to be Americans with his July 4 column; Texans GM Rick Smith did a good job in outlining what a front office went through in lockout life; and play-by-play maestro Al Michaels summed up the importance of football to us -- and had the best travel notes in the recent history of this column.
d. Only the New York Post could get away with this front page on the late Amy Winehouse.
e. I really loved her voice.
f. I don't know if I'm going to be able to take it when Curb Your Enthusiasm ends after a 10-episode season. Only. The more Funkhauser the better. And if you're like me, you can't wait to see Bill Buckner late in the season. In fact, I can't wait to see Larry David play softball.
g. Really, Larry David: You're playing a nun in the Three Stooges movie? Sister Mary-Mengele?
h. Read the other day it's been over 100 degrees in Wichita Falls, Texas, for 31 straight days. Not sure that did much for the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce, or the Wichita Falls Realtors Association.
i. But it's a dry heat.
j. At least 10 people who were at the Myra Kraft funeral service Friday said Jonathan Kraft -- son of Robert and Myra, president of the Patriots -- gave one of the most memorable eulogies they'd ever heard. How about this part of it.
On a trip to South Africa when apartheid still was the law of the land, Jonathan and his mom saw some blacks being arrested in Johannesburg for not having the proper documentation. Myra Kraft told a police officer: "I don't have the proper documentation. Arrest me too.'' She held out her hands to be handcuffed and demanded to be arrested. Jonathan, in college at the time, literally picked up his diminutive mother and took her away from the scene. "She was beating me on the back of the head,'' he said, wanting to be put down so she could go back.
k. We overstate the value and goodness of a lot of people -- famous and otherwise -- but it would be hard to overstate the generosity and humanity of Myra Kraft.
l. Coffeenerdness: I love the way they make and serve coffee in Vienna. We tried Café Sperl and ordered Melange -- essentially a latte, with frothed milk in a small cup -- with no sugar or flavoring. It came served with a roll and a glass of water. Everywhere in Vienna water is served with coffee; never asked why, but the dehydrating elements of espresso make it a smart idea. It was so good I had to have a second. And a third. We buzzed around the city for a very long walk after that.
m. Beernerdness: Lots of bitter beer in Vienna. We found one I really liked at a sidewalk café on a hot afternoon that reminded me of the white beers I've been trending toward lately, and it was a German brew: Schneider weisse hefe-weizenbier. A hefeweizen, of course. Citrusy. The server looked at me oddly when I asked for a lemon. Watching the world go by on a busy Vienna street with a hefeweizen. Not bad.
n. Very good to be back. Looking forward to one of the strangest years since I started covering pro football in 1984. Glad to have you along for the ride.