Thursday, February 26, 2009

InClement Weather: Free Agency Countdown

With the clock ready to strike midnight and open up the free agency floodgates, I'd like to remind people that it was the J-E-T-S that outspent everyone last year. While they improved five games from the previous campaign, it wasn't enough as 9-7 was two games out of the AFC East. Yes, they were 8-3 before someone's arm went out, too. I remember.

Yeah, it still stings.

Let's take a brief glance at 13 Questions various teams across the league have to be asking themselves.

If the boy-wonder really wants Alby to come to D.C., how many salaries must this team purge to do it?
I'm talking about YOU Jason Taylor.


1) Should Dan Snyder throw a $100-million contract at DT Albert Haynesworth that he can't refuse?
Redskins fans have heard more than a few sources suggesting quite favorably that Snyder is willing to break the bank - yet again - and do whatever it takes to get the soon-to-be 30-year old DT extraordinaire to the burgundy and gold. While the guy has MVP potential on the defensive side of the ball, once defenders get their mammoth contracts; it's impossible to play up to them. I'm just sayin...

2) Which linebacker - alongside recently franchised Terrell Suggs - is most valuable to the Ravens: Ray Lewis or Bart Scott?

With Suggs in check, the focus now remains whether the heart and soul of the defense (33-year old Lewis) or the up-and-coming superstar (28-year old Scott) is a sounder investment. While it remains a longshot both will remain with the team, the Ravens do have quite a quandry on their hands. Mainly due to Big D's fascination with Lewis, a guy named Rex Ryan now coaching out in the Meadowlands, and an ever-increasing market for Scott. Good luck, Ozzie Newsome.

3) Who will be this season's Jerry Porter/David Givens?
If you don't get the reference, check your "fandom" at the door. My prime candidate is none other than Pittsburgh's Nate Washington. While a nice deep threat, the key word I like to use is: threat.

4) Which former Raven defender is Rex Ryan most likely to poach for his New York Jets?
Truth be told, safety Jim Leonhard might be the only Raven - if any - who ends up playing for Gang Green. It's rumored the Jets will guarantee $25-million over 3 years to Lewis; however, the front office has been salivating over Scott for weeks now. Neither may be a legitimate option if a bidding war ensues, truth be told.

Many Jet fans - myself included - are more worried about the apparent impending (idiotic) release of RG Brandon Moore.

5) Is Dallas doing the right thing by keeping Mr. Owens?
The cap hit is obvious; however, with capologists working night and day...perhaps it is finally time to cut loose the primmadonna. It won't happen though. Not with a new stadium opening and a dellusional owner trying his best to have his team playing (at home, kinda) in Super Bowl XLIV.

6) Is there any remote chance the Bidwells don't resign Kurt Warner?
Nope. Numbers have been thrown around ($2 years, 22 million) for the past 48-72 hours and we all know Warner has his best thing going in the desert. Who would've thunk that a few years ago? Not me. The status of Anquan Boldin may deter Warner from signing immediately though.

7) What is to be made of Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans?
To be honest, my wanning support for Young has become tiresome. The Titan front office has claimed they'll match any offers for Collins (Kerry, that is), although I'm not sure if other teams are exactly clammoring for the near-40 year old. Tennessee is likely to have Collins starting in Week 1 and give Young one more year to impress them, even if it's holding a clipboard.

This almost seems like it happened twenty years ago. Doesn't it?

8) Which wideout acquisition would satisfy Donovan F. McNabb the most?
First off, it ain't Marvin Harrison. I also highly doubt the Cardinals are willing to move Boldin to an NFC rival (and conference championship opponent, no less) without asking for a ridiculously-loaded trade. That leaves TJ Houshamazilli and a few "wiley" veterans (perhaps a Lav Coles-type) front and center. Obviously Housh is the prized offensive skill player - outside of Warner - on the market. If Philly wants to make a statement to its coach, QB, and city...they'll make a concerted run at the talented former Bengal.

9) Which route would you take at OT: young and unproven or older and established?
Tra Thomas is entering his 12th season and could anchor a veteran group deep into the playoffs. Meanwhile, Khalif Barnes has been up-and-down; especially with the last season's disaster in Jacksonville. Which route do you prefer for a franchise-making position?

10) Is Jason Brown really going to become the highest paid interrior lineman in football?
Honestly, I barely know about the guy and he's likely to net a potential $50-million contract to call out blocks and assignments for another team. One thing I do know: he won't last in Baltimore at that kind of asking price.

11) Is Derrick Ward this offseason's equivalent of Michael Turner?
No. In fact, let me clarify that. NO! Ward is a very talented guy; however, I believe he's not the dynamic #1-back Turner proved he was clearly capable of being. While Ward won't likely stay with the G-Men, the market seems kinda quiet on him - outside of Mangini's man crush on him in Cleveland - for now. I suppose he'll get Dominic Rhodes-money. Let's hope his performance for his new team is much stronger though.

12) What's to be made of this year's under-the-radar cornerback crop?
Not much. Foxworth is gonna cash in and a few other #2s may sneak their way into #1 money. Once the Raiders locked up the best CB in all of football, the position took a real notieriety hit.

Harrison come to Philly and the state of Pennsylvania? It is where he registers his gun.
Props to Tony Kornheiser for that gem.


13) Is Marvin Harrison done?
No, but I'd take a flier on Torry Holt - who may or may not become available - before I would with Harrison. Word to the wise, Marvin: follow the example of Ike Bruce in San Francisco this upcoming season and restablish yourself as a valuable veteran on an up-and-coming team.

That's all I got. Good luck to your teams. Except for Patriot fans. But remember that's it's much more likely the draft - and not free agency - that will make or break your team's near-future.

By the way - just for fun - here's the funniest show on TV you're not watching.

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