NFL News & Notes > Nnamdi, Ochocinco, & The Quarterback Carousel … A Wild Week in NFL

Asomugha to the Eagles, Ochocinco & Haynesworth to New England, and The Quarterback Carousel Going Around & Around.

 

~ If the 2011-2012 NFL season ends up being as exciting as the aftermath of the league’s 132-day lockout has been so far, then fans are in store for a very wild road to the Super Bowl. The abbreviated off-season that has resulted from the lockout has led to a whirlwind of free-agent transactions which has seen teams scramble to sign as much talent as possible. It has made for must-see television for football fans across the nation. Read more of this post

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NFL > St.Louis Adds Mike Sims-Walkers To The Mix

 

~  The St. Louis Rams have reportedly added Mike Sims-Walker to their team as another target for franchise quarterback Sam Bradford to throw to. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the deal is for one-year. Walker is coming off a couple of productive seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and could prove to be a big pick up for the Rams.

 Bradford had a very impressive rookie season for a team that didn’t have a breakout wide receiver on their team. Walker could help stretch the field for St.Louis.

 What is confusing in this is why the Jaguars didn’t attempt to bring Walker back after he emerged to be quarterback David Garrard‘s go-to receiver. Walker does have a track record of injuries and that will be something to pay attention to in St.Louis.

NFL > Nnamdi Asomugha Ends Speculation & Signs w/ Eagles

~ The Philadelphia Eagles were already an early favorite to win their division and now they have pulled off the stunner of the free- agency signing season. In a move that no one appeared to really see coming, the Eagles have signed cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha to a reported 5-year deal for $60 million with $25 million guranteed. Asomugha was the top free agent on the market and it’s the Eagles who land him.

 The Asomugha situation has been compelling to watch play out on ESPN and throughout other sports outlets. No one could seem to figure out where the former Oakland Raiders cornerback was headed. Slowly yet surely, the dominoes began to fall.

 Houston dropped out of the race, and then the New York Jets became the favorites with Dallas getting into the mix. The thought of pairing a lockdown cornerback like Ashomugha with fellow all-pro cornerback Darrelle Revis was a scary image for everyone in the league and could have been the missing piece for the Jets. The Jets went as far as to restructure the contracts of some of their biggest names on the roster in order to help grab Asomugha. The Eagles apparently knew better and were doing their homework.

 Philadelphia now adds on to an already impressive team. They went into the off-season knowing they had to make some moves with their defense. They recently traded quarterback Kevin Kolb away to Arizona and were able to get back great value in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at cornerback.

 Logically no one would expect the Eagles to be in the hunt for Asomugha and the Jets appeared to be a lock to get him until it became obvious there was a holdup in the deal. It’s easy to speculate on what was behind Asomugha’s reasoning for picking the Eagles. What is clear right now is that with Rodgers-Cromartie on one side of the field and Asomugha on the other, the Eagles will be a headache for NFC east teams like Eli Manning and the Giants to gameplan for.

 ESPN’s Adam Schefter has done a great job of covering every move throughout the Asomugha chase and did say that he had a feeling a mystery team perhaps could be making a power move to land Asomugha. It turns out that the Eagles were that mystery team flying under the radar.

NFL News & Notes: Free Agent Moves, Trades & Head Scratchers

~ The NFL is not only in full swing now that the lockout has come to an end it is on full tilt and it’s the fast and furious. Moves, moves, and more moves have dominated the headlines as teams are scrambling to fit all of their needs into the new salary cap that is one of the results of the lockout.

 It’s an exciting time right now to be a free agent in the league and it’s an even more exciting time for the fans to see what moves their respective teams are willing to make to get the best possible chance to win.  It’s impossible to breakdown every move that has been made recently and there are still more moves to be made. However here are some notable moves that have been the talk of the town so far with the league where they pay to play … Read more of this post

The Lockout Is Over … Football Talk Can Now REALLY Begin

~ The NFL will have football and that is music to the ears of myself and many fans around the nation. The lockout has reportedly been lifted and football will be played in the fall of 2011.

 Football is back, well it never really left. No regular season games are going to be missed and only 1 pre-season game had to be cancelled. (The Hall of Fame game between Chicago and Houston)

 The lockout offically being lifted gives the teams, players, and the fans back the spotlight on the actual game that’s played on the field.

 What Comes Along With The Lifting of The Lockout? 

 The deal is a 10-year deal with no opt-out which means no talk of a lockout anytime soon. 

 The salary cap will now be at $120 million. The teams can now focus on how this will impact their rosters going into the regular season. Over 400 NFL players are currently free agents and more than quite a few high profile players may have to find new teams to play for because of the possibilities of them being cut because of the cap.

 Money, Money, and if All Else Fails … More Money

 The threat of games actually being cancelled because of the lockout proved to be the game-changer in the negotiations. This is logical because the bottom line is and will always be that this is a league where they pay to play.

 Both sides (Owners & Players) needed to figure out the best way to split all of the money that was coming in from annual league revenue. $9 billion is a lot of pie to divide and both sides held firm in their gameplans. That’s where reality came in and started bnging on the door.

 The closer the NFL began to get to the start of the regular season, the more realistic the threat of games being cancelled became. No games being played means no money being made.

 It’s great that both sides came to this agreement and even better that the fans don’t lose out on the start of the regular season. However, this league simply was not going to risk regular season games being cancelled and losing even more money than they have already. Money is always what leads you to the bargaining table and it normally is what gets you away from it.

 It’s now time to get ready for the craziest free-agency peroid in recent memory. If this is going to be chaos, at least it’s going to be organized chaos. Time for some football!

The Detroit Pistons Need A Coach & Lawrence Frank Is The Right Choice

~ The word at the rumor mill is that the Detroit Pistons are very close to naming Lawrence Frank as their next head coach. If this is indeed the case, the Pistons can then close the revolving door that has become their head coaching position. Frank would bring the one thing that has been missing from Detroit since their playoff-team days and that is stability.

Frank is coming off a successful one year stop in Boston as Doc Rivers lead assistant coach. I’ve followed Frank’s progression since his time in New Jersey as Byron Scott’s assistant and eventual successor as head coach when Scott was fired. Frank isn’t a high profile name, that isn’t what has secured him the respect of his coaching peers. What Frank brings to the table is a work ethic that would fit right in with the blue collar mentality of the city of Detroit. He is a defense-first coach who pays very close attention to detail.

 When the Pistons won the 2004 NBA Championship, they were a scrappy team that played as a unit. They worked hard for everything they accomplished on the court. The Pistons were about defense, work ethic, and team chemistry. Joe Dumars has struggled since then as general manager to maintain the formula that helped Detroit be a dominate team in the Eastern Conference.

 The Pistons went from Larry Brown to Flip Sanders and then from Michael Curry to John Kuester in hopes of keeping their team in the winning direction. However the idenity of the team was lost and now that the team is in a rebuilding phase, it strongly needs a coach who can provide stability on the court and in the locker room. Frank can be that guy.

 The New Jersey Nets didn’t win big with Frank as their head coach. His consistent work ethic was well respected by his players and the fans. Frank didn’t inherit the Jason Kidd who led the Nets to back to back Finals appearances under Scott. Kidd was banged up and had one foot out the door by the time Frank took over the job.

 Frank pulled the most he could out of a Nets team that much like the Pistons after their championship season in 04′, struggled to maintain a consistent roster.

 Yes, the Nets did go 0-16 in Frank’s final stretch with the Nets. The Nets by then though were not really any good and were barely watchable on television. Frank was the fall guy for that record and it should actually be viewed as a favor by the team for letting him get away from that mess.

How many coaches would go from being fired from a team that opened a season with 16 straight losses to eventually a lead assistant coach spot on a big time team like the Celtics?  It only goes to show the respect that Frank has gained throughout the league. He deserves another coaching spot to prove himself.

 The Pistons are in need of a coach that help them take the next step back to respectability. They tried the new face route with Curry and then tried to give a chance to Kuester that almost imploded their team. Lawrence Frank is not going to lose the locker room.

 Detroit also will have a revamped roster heading into their next season. They have 5 free agents and it’s safe to assume that 4 of them most likely will be elsewhere. Dumars will have to decide what to do with the 5th free agent, Tayshawn Prince. Rip Hamilton is still a prime canidate to be moved. Hamilton and Prince are the last remaining pieces from that 04′ championship team along with Ben Wallace who is on the backend of his career.

 It’s a great deal of decisions that need to be made and the Pistons have to start with the head coach. They must avoid a repeat of what happened with Kuester. Hiring Lawrence Frank would be a step in the right direction.

NFL Lockout > Owners APPROVE Proposed Labor Agreement, Now Up To The Players

~ The NFL has taken another big step towards ending the lockout which is now at 128 days. Mark down July 21st, 2011 as the day that the wheels offically were put in motion to end the work stoppage.The owners have approved the proposed 10-year CBA (collective bargaining agreement) and now the spotlight will shift to the players as they will now have to vote.

 This is clearly big news and from the way things are shaping up, the NFL may only end up losing one game off of their schedule. Training camps would most likely open by August 1st. The commissioner has announced that the Hall of Fame game (Chicago vs St.Louis) scheduled for August 7th will have to be cancelled.

 Communication can go a long way when the threat of games and additional money being lost. The players are going to carefully review the agreement before voting. However, they still must reform the union they decertified months ago.

 According to ESPN, Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith have been in constant contact with each other to come to an agreement where if the players are prepared to vote to approve the proposed deal, they would work to recertify the union in time for the start of training camps.

 More news is expected to come fast and furiously on what the players are going to do. Any projected schedules that are being put in place can’t become official until they do their part. Football fans at least can feel comfortable knowing that football is as close to returning as it’s been throughout these 128 days.

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