MMQB Mail: Nnamdi Asomugha, Jets a legitimate connection
Jets can afford to sign Nnamdi Asomugha with some work
Don't hold your breath waiting for the Bengals to trade Carson Palmer
Plaxico Burress' redemption, the real value of top QBs and more
Five things I think I think about the opening frenzy of the Summer of Frenzy:
1. I think the Jets and Nnamdi Asomugha is a real story. For those who think the cap would prohibit it, understand this: The Jets could let free agents Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards walk -- those two would be $10 million to $12 million on the cap, potentially, in 2011 -- and they could re-do the contracts of Mark Sanchez and Darrelle Revis, and they could whittle linebacker David Harris' 2011 cap hit from $10 million to about $7 million by turning his one-year deal into a multiyear contract. If you don't think Rex Ryan is pushing for this, you're crazy.
2. I think if you are Texans GM Rick Smith or Jerry Jones of the Cowboys, you know this: You're going to have to offer more money, and maybe much more, to make sure Asomugha stays off Broadway.
3. I think Kyle Orton had better hope the Dolphins make Denver a decent offer (say, third-round pick in the 2012 draft) for his services. Because if the Broncos bring Orton back after all the quarterback-musical-chair games have ended, it's clear that he'll be an impediment to the dawn of the Tebow Era.
4. I think you can, and should, stop asking about Carson Palmer. He's not going anywhere. Mike Brown will sit on him at least until the trading deadline. For those tweeting and emailing and texting me to say, "THIS MAKES NO SENSE!'' My answer is: "I KNOW!'' But Mike Brown cannot live with a template that would, down the road, drive other established stars out of town once they became dissatisfied with the Bengals' professionalism and commitment to winning.
5. I think Sam Bradford wants one thing for an early Christmas gift: a big receiver. Get him Sidney Rice (no duh!) or Plaxico Burress, Billy Devaney.
And one other thought of the day: Great signing by the Giants, hiring Larry Izzo, one of the best special teamers of the last generation, as assistant special teams coach today. That's something that'll help young players get better on the kicking teams, and fast.
A point of clarification on my trip with the Mobile USO vehicle, which will start Saturday at Falcons camp in Flowery Branch, Ga.: SI is footing the bill for the expenses to my Peter King Across America tour -- the gas, the hotels, the food. The USO isn't. So your donations to the USO aren't going to fund Sports Illustrated's NFL training camp tour.
In addition, troops from near several camp sites will be coming to camps to take advantage of this USO center on wheels, which the USO takes to big events and military exercises for men and women in uniform to relax when they have downtime. Laptops, large screen televisions, video game consoles, Wi-Fi access, refrigerators, coffee makers (essential for me) and comfy couches -- the troops, and I hope some players, will get to experience all of it.
Starting Saturday, I'll give you a link to my training camp blog so you can follow my progress across the country. First stops: Falcons (Friday, Saturday), Panthers (Sunday).
One other point: I am writing the mailbag column today instead of Tuesday because of a piece I wrote for the site Tuesday about the performance of NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. Sorry for the delay in posting your mail; your questions of the week follow.
I DID IT BECAUSE I THINK THEY'RE THE BEST PLAYERS
"Do you think you put six quarterbacks in your top 10 because it's been shoved down our throats that quarterbacks are the most important and glamorous position in football or do you truly think that all six belong there?''
-- Michele F., Hilliard, Ohio
If you asked 32 general managers to choose a player to start their franchise with, and I had a fantasy draft allowing them to make their picks in order, I can guarantee you that at least six of the first 10 players picked would be quarterbacks. Maybe more.
WHY, THANK YOU
"Welcome back. Thank you for lining up some of the best guest columnists ever. I loved what Al Michaels had to say about football and fans (yes I recognized myself in the writing). But the absolute best ever was Sgt. Mike McGuire. He made me laugh and cry and be proud of our military and our country. So thank you. Now get back to work, we missed you.''
Mike will be thrilled to hear your praise. He is a proud member of a group of very proud men and women.
THANK YOU FOR REALIZING THIS
"So we're going to miss one preseason game. Glad so much sports media was dedicated to a lockout that ultimately meant nothing.''
-- Mike Nichols, Springfield, Pa.
I tweeted the other day something like this: If I told you the new contract between players and owners would have been agreed to 45 days before the start of the regular season, and no real games would be missed, would you have signed up for it? I bet 90 percent of the fans would have said sure.
"There has obviously been much reporting on the lockout. But how exactly will the revenue be split?''
-- Steve H., Wilton, Conn.
Players will get 55 percent of all TV money, 45 percent of all marketing and promotional and merchandise money, and 40 percent of all locally produced revenue -- local ticket sales, stadium revenue, etc. That's as simple as I can make it.
VIENNA GETS A SHOUTOUT
"Thank you for your nice and admiring words for my hometown Vienna. Especially your description of your experience at Cafe Sperl, which does come very surprising as you are known to be a Starbuckoholic, but it's an encouraging sign that the Starbucks, MacCafes, etc. are losing out compared to a real good, old-fashioned European coffee shop, which you surely haven't just seen in Vienna, but also in Italy and wherever your travels took you. As for all the rush when waiting in lines: it's a sad sign of our times, nobody takes his time, everyone is always in a hurry. So my last words for now....Go Pats!!!''
-- Thomas, Vienna, Austria
Thomas, you've got one of the great places in the world to live. You're lucky. I really loved our time there. And I will pass your "Go Pats'' along to Pats Nation over here.
I THINK BURRESS IS NOT THE BURRESS WHO WENT TO PRISON
"As good as your fill-ins were (especially Mike, who is from my hometown), I'm glad you're back just in time for the chaos to begin. Do you really think, knowing Steve Spagnuolo's commitment to his "4 pillars" philosophy, that he would target Plaxico Burress? I'm very skeptical of all of the rumors that my Rams will sign him. And our most urgent needs are at DT, OLB and safety. I say we stick with the young receivers we have and let them grow with Sam. Your thoughts?''
-- Red, St. Louis
You are right in thinking Spagnuolo wants very solid people to be the cornerstones of his team. But Burress, from everything I know, took time in prison to better his life. I think he'll be a good man and stay out of trouble. The only reason I think he'd be a great fit for the Rams is that he's been there, he's played in big games, and he's dominated in big games ... and Bradford is ready to win now in a weak division. It would be a shame for him if the young wideouts weren't ready to take that step with him.
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