1. I think I still don't understand Reggie Wayne's rush to re-sign with Indianapolis, unless he was sure the new Peyton Manning team wouldn't want him. And when he signed last week, there was no way to know which team that was going to be.
2. I think now we know why Jeff Fisher was anxious to leave Tennessee 14 months ago. He didn't want the owner of the team calling up and dictating something so important as who to pursue at quarterback. Sort of like he did in 2006, when he pushed for Vince Young to be the team's first-round pick. Not to say it's a bad idea to try to get Peyton Manning; if the Titans get him, Adams will be the hero of Tennessee. But it's the principle of it -- coaches and GMs don't like the owner walking into their side of the building and dictating what to do.
3. I think the NFL, deep down, wanted the 32 teams to collude and not dump bad contracts and big bonuses into the 2010 salary season. Collusion is a dirty word in sports, and I understand the ramifications of using that word here. But here's what happened in the run-up to 2010.
Teams didn't know for sure that there'd be a salary cap in 2010 until the year was on top of them. When the cap was in place, the league figured Washington and Dallas had dumped unamortized signing bonuses into the 2010 year, and that dumping of bad contracts gave them an advantage over teams that didn't do it. The league figured Washington and Dallas gained an edge by this contract-dumping in future cap seasons, which the Redskins and Cowboys did.
As I wrote the other day, the worst thing about this is the timing -- Dallas and Washington had one day to amend their free agency plans when they found out they were getting slapped with major cap penalties. That's just unfair. I hope what ProFootballTalk.com reported over the weekend is correct -- that the two teams will challenge the league's ruling however they can.
4. I think it sounds like Roger Goodell's discipline on the Saints bounty case is going to ensnare players, coaches and the Saints organization in its net. Perceptive summary Q&A the other day by Don Banks on SI.com, and the impression I get now is that Sean Payton is likely to get multiple games, and more than one player will be sanctioned.
5. I think the cream of the crop was pillaged in my top 50 free agents, to the point where only four of the top 23 are left as of Monday morning: Peyton Manning (No. 1), Stephen Tulloch (9), Brodrick Bunkley (10) and Alex Smith (13). I'm a little surprised left tackle Demetrius Bell (30) isn't gone yet, because teams are interested.
6. I think the neglected position so far in free agency -- seemingly because teams think the position is relatively easily filled -- is linebacker. That's a sweeping generalization, but Tulloch, Curtis Lofton (24th on my top-50 list), London Fletcher (No. 43, but still a playmaker) and Erin Henderson (44) all would be valuable additions in sideline-to-sideline linebacker schemes, and they're all waiting for offers.
7. I think we all need to remember this about Randy Moss: He didn't play football in 2011. I don't mean to say I think it's a bad signing by the Niners, because he could feel reborn and have enough left to be a good contributor in San Francisco if he wants to.
When he last played, in 2010, the Patriots gave up on him and traded him to Minnesota, and the Vikings gave up on him and let him go, and the Titans signed him, and he was listless and indifferent there. Folks, players don't play the same at 35 (which Moss is now) as they did at 30 (which Moss was when he caught an NFL-record 23 touchdown passes for the Patriots).
8. I think, recalling Alex Smith caddying for coach Jim Harbaugh five weeks ago at the AT&T Pro-Am, this is the column lead of the NFL weekend, from Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News: "Well, what did you expect Alex Smith to do? Sit around the caddie shack and wait for a call?''
9. I think the Patriots signing Anthony Gonzalez is borderline insignificant, the equivalent of the Red Sox signing a Carlos Silva. Gonzalez is a nice player to bring to camp, but he's made five catches in the last three years. He's had hamstring, knee, ankle, groin and concussion issues since 2009. Good camp guy with speed, but it'll be an upset if he's anything more than that.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. I had Bobcat Fever over the weekend. Yes, I'm an Ohio U. alum, and there's a good chance this column would have been up sooner this morning if I hadn't been so totally wound up by my alma mater's win over South Florida Sunday night. To think OU would beat Big Ten and Big East teams in the span of 48 hours in Nashville is a bit heady. To think the Bobcats would be in the Sweet Sixteen against top-seeded North Carolina Friday night ... headier.
Two years ago, Ohio beat Georgetown in Providence in the first game of the regional, then laid an egg two days later, losing to Tennessee. The guard who led them two years ago as a freshman, D.J. Cooper, understood what he had to do Friday night after the stunner over Michigan, according to coach John Groce.
"Looking back on it now,'' Groce said Sunday night, "I do think it feels different from two years ago. It felt different when we walked off the floor on Friday night. D.J. grabbed a couple guys and said, 'Hey, act like you've been there before. We're here to get two.' ''
They got two. Now they'll be greedy and unafraid, I expect. All they have on the horizon is North Carolina. And then maybe Kansas.
b. Thanks for the cool bet, Rich Eisen. Eisen's a Michigan man, and we bet a change of Twitter avatars on the Bobcats-Wolverines tilt Friday night. That's why when you go to @richeisen on Twitter, you'll see Script Ohio until Friday.
c. OK, all you Tar Heel grads. I'm open for bets on OU-UNC Friday night.
d. My late brother, Bob, was a Tar Heel. We'd have a case of Allegash White on this game -- or more -- if he were around to watch it with me.
e. Now to get a little more serious ...
f. I don't understand how it is fair for a member of our military to be accused of murdering 16 Afghan civilians in cold blood and then trying to burn some of them to destroy the evidence ... and then having him flown to the United States to stand trial here. I mean, imagine the outrage if a citizen from a foreign country murdered 16 Americans in this country, and his government spirited him back to his homeland, somehow, to stand trial. We'd be outraged. It's just wrong.
g. Speaking of wrong, this New York Times column by Charles M. Blow, concerning the death of an unarmed 17-year-old African-American boy, Trayvon Martin, is worth your time if you've not read it yet. The column is certainly not wrong. The situation is.
h. I saw Game Change. It's entertaining, frightening, a good movie. I was left to think the makers of it went a little over the top in bashing Sarah Palin over the head. I mean, do you think on the Vice President's plane, with Palin and her aides traveling from one appearance to another, that her people would actually play the Saturday Night Live skit that bashes her to smithereens? If that happened, then the Palin crew is a bunch of idiots. I don't see how that could be true. I have a feeling HBO could have done a movie that was eye-opening and stunning simply by telling exactly what happened. Why exaggerate? And if there's no exaggeration, I'm stunned.
i. Cool to see Marty Brodeur and J.S. Giguere, the two best goalies in the 2003 season and the two guys who dueled to win the Stanley Cup in the Devils' seven-game Cup triumph, go 60 scoreless minutes the other night in the Jersey-Colorado game. Devils won it in the shootout.
j. A Pittsburgh-St. Louis Cup final this year would be loads of fun.
k. Coffeenerdness: Memo to restaurants everywhere: Why do you not respect espresso and coffee drinkers? I've almost given up on finding good coffee after a meal.
l. Beernerdness: Had my first glass of Estrella Damm pilsener from Barcelona the other night. A little too mild for me, like Stella Artois, but pleasant enough.
m. Same thing every year: I watch 10 seconds of college basketball all season, and then I can't wait for the tournament to come on. I think it's the sudden-death component of it all, and the glee from teams like Norfolk State and Lehigh. Fantastic.
n. Somehow, I think the NIT wanted to get rid of Bucknell. First game: at Arizona. A win. Second game: at Nevada. A loss. Then there's UMass: at Mississippi State, at Seton Hall, and now at Drexel. I understand you want the high seeds to have an edge, but play fair, NIT.
o. Happy 14th birthday, Emma Pacifico.
p. And rest in peace, Furman Bisher. One of the finest sports columnists in America, Bisher, 93, died of a heart attack Sunday, and his peers gushed with praise. Former Atlanta Journal Constitution editor Jim Minter told the paper Sunday: "He put more quality words on newsprint than any other writer in the last half of the 20th century.'' Well put. He was also very good to young writers coming up in the business. He'll be missed.
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