Alright so in light of the tragic death of Junior Seau, I would like take this opportunity to talk about the issue of head injuries in football, well all sports for that matter. I kind of touched on this issue in my (<a href= "http://http://xtraordinarysports.com/viewArticle.php?id=96">fighting</a>) article, but I wanted to go into more detail about this subject.
Please keep in mind I am not trying to take anything away from or downplay any athlete that suffers from head injuries like post concussion syndrome. The whole idea is a sad piece of reality. But my main point here is this: you are grown men and you knew what you signed up for. Concussions are a part of contact sports and guess what? Football is a contact sport. If you do not want to get hit, then don't sign up. You know that a heavy dose of contact is involved in your line of work.
It's like signing up for the army or navy or whatever and being shocked that you are being shot at. Um bro, there is no fine print saying "Hey there is a possibility you may get hit out on the field." You know that. So stop turning your back on the game that you loved so much while you were getting paid millions and millions of dollars over a short period of time and going out and suing the NFL.
You don't see Muhammad Ali suing the IBF (International Boxing Federation) for suffering from Parkinson's disease (at least I haven't heard about him suing, so don't exactly quote me on that).
The fact that players from the NFL and NHL are turning around and suing their once beloved sports is the reason for all the unnecessary changes to the games we all love to watch. I mean at the rate that the NFL is going, hitting will probably be nonexistent in about 10 years. Just slowly taking hitting out of the game. How about taking out kickoffs all together? What the s*** is that? It's one of the most exciting plays in sports, and the NFL wants to get rid of it to help prevent big hits.
I don't know why you watch the sport, but I watch it for huge hits and big plays and guess what? Kickoffs are a combination of both. Yeah it's awful when people get seriously injured like Eric LeGrand from Rutgers. I don't want to see that ever. But because it happened maybe twice or three times out of the millions of kickoffs that have happened over the years, doesn't mean we need to start making drastic changes to the game.
In the end, football is not a game for little girls. It's a man's game. There are occupational hazards when you agree to sign that contract that is going to send you a box of $3 million cash every month for your services. Stop turning this league into Tom "The **** Boy" Brady powderpuff league where people complain about getting hit or injured. If you don't want to assume the risk of head injuries, then don't play the game. It's pretty simple.
PS - I am crazy for wanting the XFL to come back? I loved that s***! But this time they should allow steroid use and just get the biggest and most blood thirsty mongoloids money can buy and have them just go to town on each other. Like the real life NFL Blitz.
How the hell is Roger Goodell going to be able to sleep at night after suspending arguably one of the most talented defensive players in the NFL for an entire season because he was doing his job? Lets not forget the other players, but news today is Jonathon Vilma of the New Orleans Saints is having his 2012 season taken from him by some power hungry commissioner who is probably trying to make up for some insecurities he has about himself.
NFL players, especially linebackers are bad motherf’ers and enjoy hitting other people as hard as they possibly can. The commish is saying that the Bounty System would not have been existed without active player participation? Are you serious?
Jonathon Vilma’s job since he first strapped that helmet on in the hood of Coral Gables, has been to hit the opponent with the ball as hard as he possibly can. That’s it. He was also told that if you hit people hard enough you will get to go to college for free and play for the U, and if you continue to hit people hard enough, some billionaire schmuck will pay you millions of dollars to do that on national TV every Sunday.
But let’s get back to this whole Bounty situation which is an absolute joke. The fact that anyone is getting in trouble for this blows my mind and makes me hate Roger Goodell more than I already do. Second off this is football, the highest level of football; NFL players are freaks that enjoy hitting and being hit. If you add incentive to a player who already cannot wait to hit someone as hard as he can, you are going to get more from that player for sixty minutes. It is great coaching, and in my opinion that is how you should run an organization. Football is not a gentlemen’s game. It is football; the basic fundamental principle of the game is to hit someone harder than they hit you.
Roger Goodell has only been making the NFL worse since he took the job as the commissioner. This in my opinion is the last straw. If he is really going to suspend one of the best players, and a great representative of the NFL for an entire season just because he took accepted incentives for doing his job correctly, then I will be forced to give up on the League until Goodell resigns.
Jonathon Vilma and the three others who have been suspended are going to appeal and hopefully win. The NFL makes its money off of big hits and star players. If this suspension goes through you are punishing a player who was just trying to do everything possible to help his team win.
As sports fans, we live for competition, and will do anything in our power to win. Because at the end of the day, Vilma wasn’t doing it for the money, he was doing it because like all of us, he hates to lose. If we let Roger Goodell take that away his passion for winning, then what is Jonathon left with?
The 49ers started the draft with 7 picks, but moved back in the early 4th round for essentially 3rd, 5th and 6th round picks in the 2013 draft. Despite their trades, they ended up still with 7 picks in this year’s draft.
Their first round selection, at 30th overall, was on Illinois Wide Receiver A.J. Jenkins. Jenkins is a graduating senior, who received numerous academic and athletic Big-Ten Conference awards. At 6’0, he runs a sub 4.4 40 time and has 9 5/6 inch hands. Jenkins is not expected to come into a starting position this season. He will be worked in with the receiving corps, hopefully taking from the rest of the talented crew consisting of veteran Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham. A.J. is also anticipated to play some special teams by returning kicks.
In the next round, the 49ers used their 2nd pick to select Oregon RB LaMichael James who fell to the sixty-first overall pick. One of the most athletic and agile college running backs of the last few years, James brings a quick change-of-pace to the already stacked SF running back corps. James is expected to be one of the 5 tailbacks in rotation with Frank Gore, Brandon Jacobs, Kendall Hunter and Anthony Dixon. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has raved about the back, having seen him first hand run all over his Stanford teams in the past. Harbaugh has noted that he plans to incorporate many uses for LaMichael within the 49ers offensive scheme.
After trading back, the 49ers selected offensive guard Joe Looney out of Wake Forrest. Joe is 6-3, 320 and was picked to compete for the recently opened right guard spot. The smart player can also be a back-up center, if guard does not play out. San Francisco additionally selected another inside lineman in the 6th round, Jason Slowey of Western Oregon. Slowey is a little raw but dominated his DII competition. He is also a weight room phenom. The niners are hoping to take all his raw talents and develop him into an eventual starter.
In the 5th round, SF selected outside linebacker Darius Fleming out of Notre Dame. Fleming is expected to make an immediate role on special teams but also rotate in with the 3 other outside linebackers, Ahmad Brooks, Parys Haralson and Aldon Smith. Darius demonstrated a mean pass rush that can hopefully be beneficial on 3rd down pass plays. Another outside linebacker the 49ers selected in this draft was Cam Johnson out of Virginia in the final round. His style of play will be perfect in the niner’s stand-up linebacker 3-4 defensive schemes. To further add to the future of the defense, Trenton Robinson, a Safety out of Michigan State, was selected in the 6th round. They look for Robinson to potentially takeover current safety Dashon Goldson, who will be a free agent next year.
After the draft, the 49ers additionally managed to sign 17 undrafted free agents in various positions. They had two notable signings, Jewel Hampton and Chris Owusu, the only two prospects who were invited to the NFL combine of the bunch. Hampton’s a strong, experienced running back from Southern Illinois. He has showed great production but has been injury prone so he will have to over come great odds to enter the already strong and stacked running back rotation. Chris Owusu is a smart and talented wide receiver from Stanford, where he played under Coach Harbaugh. Owusu ran a blazing 40 speed but has suffered 3 bad concussions over his college career, the most recent being Nov. 5 of last year against OSU. Owusu was not able to finish the rest of the season, but was nonetheless given a shot by the 49ers after being cleared by their medical staff. Like the rest of the undrafted signees, Owusu will have a tough time making the already stacked 49ers final roster.
Overall, General Manager Trent Baalke was satisfied with this years draft picks and signings. He stated the necessity of having more explosive playmakers on the field and Jenkins and James both provide that to the offensive side of the ball. He feels that the 49ers have greatly added to the overall roster and expects there to be good in-house competition for playing time. Not only will the competition further the teams standards of play, it will bring much needed depth of quality players in the later games of the season, which is exactly where the 49ers are eyeing. Look for them to go far in this next post season, if not take the whole thing. All the pieces have come together at the right time for the San Francisco 49ers.
In this past weekend’s NFL college draft, the first 2 picks held true as expected. Andrew Luck went 1st overall to Indianapolis and Robert Griffin III was picked 2nd by Washington. The rest of the first round held some trade movement and a few unexpected picks but mostly a lot of talented players being added to already strong NFL rosters.
On draft day, Cleveland switched spots with Minnesota from 4 to 3 and selected Alabama RB Trent Richardson. At 4, Minnesota choose USC T Matt Kalil and consecutively Jacksonville selected the top receiver overall, Oklahoma St Justin Blackmon, with the 5th pick. The 6th spot was held by St. Louis after trading back from the 2nd with Washington, but St. Louis traded back again with Dallas. The cowboys selected LSU CB Morris Claiborne, the top rated defensive back in the draft. The best Safety went next at 8, to Tampa Bay, Alabama’s Mark Barron. An interesting pick at 9, Carolina selected OLB Luke Kuechly, the highest LB to ever be selected in the draft from Boston College. Rounding out the top ten, another CB was selected by Buffalo, Stephon Gilmore out of South Carolina.
The other twenty-two picks played out as follows:
11) Kansas City – Dontari Poe – DT
12) Philadelphia – Fletcher Cox – DE
13) Arizona – Michael Floyd – WR
14) St. Louis – Michael Brockers – DT
15) Seattle – Bruce Irvin – OLB
16) NY Jets – Quinton Coples – DE
17) Cincinnati – Dre Kirkpatrick – CB
18) San Diego – Melvin Ingram - OLB
19) Chicago – Shea McClellin - OLB
20) Tennessee – Kendall Wright - WR
21) New England – Chandler Jones - DE
22) Cleveland – Brandon Weeden- QB
23) Detroit – Riley Reiff - T
24) Pittsburgh – David DeCastro - G
25) New England – Dont’a Hightower - ILB
26) Houston – Whitney Mercilus - DE
27) Cincinnati – Kevin Zeitler - G
28) Green Bay – Nick Perry - OLB
29) Minnesota – Harrison Smith - SS
30) San Francisco – A. J. Jenkins - WR
31) Tampa Bay – Doug Martin - RB
32) NY Giants –David Wilson- RB
At eleven, KC selected Dontari Poe out of Memphis about a round earlier then thought. At thirteen, Michael Floyd is heading to Arizona to learn the pro game by Larry Fitzgerald. St. Louis eventually picked DT Michael Brockers at fourteen. The first round turned out to provide an entirely new backfield for Cleveland with their additional pick of Oklahoma St QB Brandon Weeden at eighteen. New England also had 2 first round picks, but they decided to go the defensive route and selected DE Chandler Jones and ILB Dont’a Hightower at 21 and 25 respectively. The San Francisco 49ers selected Illinois WR A.J. Jenkins at thirty, who was a great late round value, despite his 5-11 size because he runs a 4.39 and has nearly ten inch hands to go along with his academic and athletic Big-Ten honors. Finishing off the first round, the defending World Champions NY Giants selected RB David Wilson out of Virginia Tech.
NFL Free Agency can be quite a roller coaster ride when star players are available and they are looking for a place to move. This year, however, things seemed even a little crazier. With the best free agent in NFL history (Peyton Manning) part of this year’s class, this period was bound to be more hectic and competitive than it usually is. With that I give you the 3 winners and the 2 losers of this year’s free agency period:
Denver Broncos: I honestly feel no need to explain myself for this one, but just to be fair I will. The Broncos remotely replaced their quarterback that was a kid with an erratic arm and a heart of gold (Tim Tebow), with one of the 5 greatest quarterbacks of all time. And to add to their arsenal they beefed up their secondary with defensive backs Tracy Porter and Mike Adams. Other additions like tight end Jacob Tamme will be good for Manning who already has a strong chemistry with him from their days with the Colts.
New England Patriots: A lot of teams set their sights on the big tunas when free agency began. Not the Pats. The Patriots managed to keep their composure and find a plethora of solid affordable pick ups that can fill in the holes and weaknesses the team exposed last year. Brandon Lloyd was the big pick up that will hopefully be the answer the passing game’s need for a vertical throwing target. Along with that the Pats added competition for the receiver position bringing in Anthony Gonzalez and Donte Stallworth. The weakest link in the Pats armor has been their secondary. They have managed to sign Steve Gregory, Will Allen, and Marquice Cole to hopefully add depth to that position.. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they addressed this problem even more so in the draft.
San Francisco 49er’s: Even after losing out to the Broncos in Peyton Manning Sweepstakes, the 49er’s managed to bring back Alex Smith who played his best football in Jim Harbaugh’s system. With offensive pickups like Randy Moss, Brandon Jacobs, and Mario Manningham, the Niners could be a lot more well balanced football team.
Miami Dolphins: This is a sad case where a team falls victim to being their own worst enemy. When you’re a team in dire need of improvement in key positions, you must pursue free agency aggressively and actively. Miami needed a quarterback and an upgrade at the skill positions. They ended up settling with an out of shape quarterback in David Garrard and traded away their only receiving threat in Brandon Marshall.
Seattle Seahawks: Anytime you sign a multi-million dollar deal to a back up quarterback with the aspirations that he will lead the team’s franchise, you’re taking a risk. When you fail to add any skill to a receiving core that is already limited and minute, you might as well prepare for another packed season. I’m honestly amazed sometimes how the Seahawks find ways to do nothing at all to help themselves every offseason.
With NFL teams having a full off-season to actually make transactions, we are seeing quite a bit of mix up among rosters already. Across the country, there are players signing with new teams, players coming out of retirement, and players being traded. The most commonality we have seen so far is the desire for quality and experienced wide receivers.
To begin, the Washington Redskins made a big splash in immediately signing WR Pierre Garcon and WR Joshua Morgan from free agency. They are also strongly in pursuit of another up and coming WR Eddie Royal. The Redskins are setting up their perimeter players with young talent and speed for their projected draft pick Robert Griffin III to throw to.
In response to losing WR Joshua Morgan, the San Francisco 49ers worked out veteran WR Randy Moss. Coach Jim Harbaugh went on record saying that Moss performed quite well and still exhibited a sub 4.5/4.4 40-time speed. Later that day, both sides agreed on a 1 year contract to bring Randy out of retirement. The 49ers are hoping he can fit into their close-knit scheme and bring veteran leadership to play to the offensive side of the ball.
As far as re-signings go, several teams made sure that their star WR did not leave town. In Detroit, the Lions re-signed Calvin Johnson to an 8-year contract with the most guaranteed money in NFL history. Down in NOLA, the Saints also re-signed Marques Colston to a 5-year deal. Both teams felt the necessity to keep these players around for Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford. WR Reggie Wayne was re-signed to a 3-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts.
The Philadelphia Eagles are happy that their star WR Desean Jackson is also staying around, having signed a 5-year contract. Jackson went to as far to guarantee a Super Bowl appearance for him and his QB Michael Vick within the next year.
Brandon Marshall, in the midst of female battery accusations, was traded from Miami to Chicago for two 3rd round draft picks over the next two years. A fairly cheap price for a quality athlete capable of making big catches. He is being re-aligned with his former QB Jay Cutler back in Chicago.
More interesting transactions include the Kansas City Chiefs signing of RB Peyton Hillis. After a down year, both sides are hoping for a healthy turn around and possibly regaining his “Madden Cover” play.
QB Kyle Orton signed a 3-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys bringing some in-house competition in against current starter QB Tony Romo.
DT Mario Williams will take his talents up to Buffalo, signing a 5-year deal after only playing 5 games last season.
On a side note, the San Francisco 49ers are returning all 11 defensive starters after re-signing S CJ Spillman, LB Ahmad Brooks, and CB Carlos Rodgers while designating Dashon Goldson as a franchise player. There is a lot of excitement out there on that side of the ball, bringing back every piece of the dominating 2011 squad. The Niners plan to fully instill the rest of the defense that they were not able to put in last season with the lockout in place.
On another side note, the biggest free agent ever, Peyton Manning, has narrowed his list down to several teams including the Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals. He is expected to make a decision about the matter fairly soon. Stay tuned for more movement around the league.
This upcoming football season will be filled with veteran players playing for new teams. One of the most notable and soon to be highest paid free agents will be Vincent Jackson. The Chargers decided not to use their franchise tag on any of their unrestricted free agents, which includes big names like Mike Tolbert, Jacob Hester, Mike Scifres, Nick Hardwick, Luis Castillo, Antonio Garay, and more. I think most of these players will be resigned this off-season except for VJ, who is personally one of my favorite players to watch.
VJ has the rare combination of size and speed with the ability to make pro bowl caliber catches. VJ paired with a healthy Malcolm Floyd and Gates gives Rivers many weapons to throw to in this high-powered Norv Turned offence. However, if VJ is looking for a contract upwards of $30 million guaranteed, which I think he will get, then is he really worth the money?
The Chargers already have and have had one of the most explosive offenses in the league with and without VJ starting. Only two years ago, during VJ’s contract holdout, Rivers was throwing darts to unknown players like Seyi Ajirotutu and Legedu Naanee while still winning games and putting up career passing numbers. Don’t get me wrong VJ is a great player and he will definitely be missed if the Chargers can’t resign him, but maybe a stronger defense is the more important priority in free agency and in the draft.
NFL.com reports that AJ Smith and the chargers have an “unknown” set amount they are willing to offer Texans free agent defensive end Mario Williams. So this leads to the obvious question. Who would be more influential in helping the chargers win a super bowl? VJ or Mario?
There are a lot of talented WRs in free agency that wouldn’t carry the type of price tag VJ has. Go to http://www.kffl.com/static/nfl/features/freeagents/fa.php?option=WR&y=2012 and see the list for yourself. Also, this year’s draft will include big name WRs like Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd that will both go in the first round. So far multiple teams have the need and the money for VJ, such as the Bears, 49ers, and Redskins.
The biggest nightmare for me as a Charger fan would be VJ going to the Raiders or to the Patriots who both reportedly have expressed interest. Every team in the NFL is a business and they have to make their decisions like any business does, weighing the risks to rewards. So even though VJ is an awesome WR, he may not be worth the money in the long run. All this being said I really hope to see VJ back in the powder blues next year with hopefully some new well-known defensive players.
The Indianapolis Colts have until 4 PM Eastern time on this coming Thursday to pick up Peyton Manning’s remaining 4 years of his 5 year extension, which includes an option bonus of $28 million or they are going to be needing Luck to help them out.
If Jim Irsay and the Nap town Colts fail to pick up Manning’s option they still owe Manning $28 million by this Sunday, which would cause for one of the most expensive break-ups ever. But here is where it gets interesting; the Colts can release the 11x Pro Bowler, 4x NFL MVP, XLI Super Bowl Champ and MVP for the price of nothing. Not to mention Manning is the Colts all-time leader in wins, passing TD’s, and Passing yards to name a few. And the plot thickens even more when the Colts have the number 1 overall pick in the NFL’s upcoming draft in April.
At the top of everyone’s wish list is the 5 star caliber NFL style QB, named Andrew Luck who eerily reminds me and I’m sure a lot others of Peyton Manning’s second coming. Maybe it’s the Colts misfortune, or their good luck but they now have to decide between a future hall of famer or a young man who hasn’t even thrown a down in the NFL.
Seems kind of an easy decision to me to pick up Manning’s option. No offense to Luck but it seems like a slap in the face to Manning who single handily put the Colts on top. Than the one-year he is out injured the lonely Colts are by far the worst team in the NFL. Reminds me of Tom Brady when he tore his ACL in the beginning of the 2008-2009 season. The Patriots went 11-5 that season vs. the Manningless 2-14 Colts.
Manning has come off of multiple neck surgeries this last year to repair nerve damage, which is very serious, especially if that neck is one of a NFL QB. Most athletes would not even venture into coming back, but Peyton Manning is no ordinary man or NFL player. This is the same Tennessee graduate who told the Colts in the 1998 draft if they did not pick him that he was going to basically
make their next 10 years hell.
That should open people’s eyes to see that no one can put an expiration date on determination and passion. Manning still has some football left in him, whether it is for the Colts or the potential suitors who would kill to have Manning under center.
Where every QB has to conform to their NFL team, Manning has the opposite happen to him. Controlling the game like a puppet master, his craft is bar none. Andrew Luck can be the Colts second coming, but no matter what Luck does he will never be the first.
If you were the Colts GM, would you pick up Peyton Manning\'s deal or release him and let the next chapter begin?
It’s that time of year. The birds are chirping. The sun is shining. The days are longer. And every high school boy is trying to find a way to gas up the courage to ask the pretty girl to prom. With all of these great things comes NFL free agency.
Just yesterday was the deadline for NFL teams to franchise tag any of their players that are up coming unrestricted free agents. This leaves us with a very unique skilled and talented free agent class, and 32 NFL teams licking their chops at the opportunity to find the missing piece (or pieces) that will take their team to the next level.
There are a few interesting and peculiar storylines in this year’s free agency class. For now I want to focus on the clear elephant in the room: Peyton Manning will not be an Indianapolis Colt next year. Wow, did I really just say that? It just feels wrong. Peyton’s departure from Indy was confirmed by NFL insider Chris Mortensen. Now that we know this there is only one question to ask; where will he go?
There are certainly a number of teams that could use a player of Peyton Manning’s skill at QB even if he isn’t throwing over 30 TD’s and 4500 passing yards. A team that I see courting him aggressively is the Miami Dolphins. Its no secret Chad Henne is not the answer for this franchise. And Matt Moore did a good job last year filling in, but let’s be honest here, that’s exactly what he is; a good backup quarterback that can fill in when it is necessary.
It’s also no secret that this team does have a valuable set of skill players that include big play receiver Brandon Marshall and a versatile Reggie Bush. When you add a player like Peyton Manning to this team, things can change quickly, real quickly. Peyton Manning is one of those special players who make everyone around him look better. I’m not saying this will happen but with Peyton I wouldn’t be shocked if Brandon Marshall could look more like a 2007 Randy Moss and Davone Bess becomes another one of those “underappreciated” slot receivers that just needed the right quarterback throwing the pigskin to him. That’s the kind of quarterback that Manning is. The proof is in the pudding. Just look at how frustrating of a season Reggie Wayne had once he had Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky throwing five yards ducks to the right of him all year.
Other teams that will likely show interest are the Seahawks and Redskins. Sidney Rice has yet to show any glimpse of the player he was back in Minnesota with Brett Favre, but there is no telling what he could be capable of doing with a player like Manning under snap. The Redskins would really need to make a push to surround Manning with more talented receivers if Peyton were to really consider committing to a team like Washington. One thing we do know now, wherever Manning ends up, he’s going to make a huge impact for both the team he plays for as well as every team in that division. Wherever he ends up there is one thing that is clear… Times-a-changin’ and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.