Monday, April 13, 2009

8 comments MMQB Review: Important Draft News We All Knew Edition

Peter King, an NFL insider, gives us some important draft news today. Unfortunately this is all news most people who follow football already know and the way he explains it makes no sense. I mentioned this last week but I thought Peter was supposed to find out information about the NFL few people knew and share it with the world? I get better inside information from Pro Football Talk or Pro Football Weekly. Let's see what information Peter knows this week.

I believe the Lions will target three players -- Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, Baylor left tackle Jason Smith and Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry.

Other than Eugene Monroe, I have seen no other players at the top of any mock drafts. Here are 240 different drafts, see what they all have in common? Stafford, Smith or Curry at the #1 spot with every once in a while Monroe being picked there. Why does SI pay Peter King to find out information I could get by reading free sites on the Internet?

Tom Condon and Ben Dogra are the agents for Stafford. They also are the agents for Jason Smith.

Nothing like a good old conflict of interest at the top of the NFL draft board. Naturally I think Smith will be cheaper than Stafford, because he is an offensive lineman, so Stafford could end up losing out on guaranteed money and get picked later. The Condon/Dogra team has to sell Smith as the low cost safe option over Stafford because that is what an agent's job is, but now that conflicts with Stafford's best interests since he will want to be picked #1. Such intrigue...

So Stafford, in that scenario, would want either $36 million guaranteed over five years, or $42 million over six. Let's say Condon/Dogra take a this-economy-stinks discount. Maybe they go to $34 million or $35 million over five, or $38-ish million over six. Maybe.

That's one factor in this. The other factor is which player makes more sense to the Lions.

Again, call me old fashioned but I don't think money should be the factor here. I think "the other factor," which player makes more sense for the Lions, should be the "only factor." That makes too much sense though.

The Lions absolutely stunk last year, like all time worst stunk, so they have a ton of holes they need to fix. Why not go with the player that fits the team the best and gives the Lions the best chance to recoup on their investment in the #1 pick of the draft? Again, this makes too much sense. I don't know exactly who that is, but I think Stafford is too risky for me.

There are some lingering questions about Stafford in Detroit because the Lions remember the ghost of Joey Harrington and they know there's a 50-percent washout factor with first-round quarterbacks.

There is a 50% chance a first round quarterback washes out. How can the Lions draft Stafford knowing this number? They have tons of holes on that roster. This makes no sense to me. This is not a Matt Ryan situation. There is no decent team around Stafford like there was Matt Ryan.

They wonder why Stafford never became the super phenom he was supposed to be coming out of high school.

Maybe because he is not that good of a quarterback? Or will never be that good of a quarterback? See, this question would worry me a lot more than any question about why Aaron Curry doesn't sack the quarterback a lot or whether it is worth it to draft LT first.

Smith would cost a little less, maybe $33 million guaranteed over five years, and he'd probably be able to move in at left tackle immediately or after one year, enabling the Lions to strengthen the line. They could team him with last year's first-rounder, Gosder Cherilus, as left and right tackles, or move Cherilus inside for a year or two and move left tackle Jeff Backus over to the right side. Smith's a feisty kid with a mean streak, like Long was last year, and the Lions wouldn't regret the pick. He's a safe pick.

Wow. A Detroit Lions team that actually has a plan? This "safe pick" approach would never happen for two reasons: The Lions are making the draft choice and this would actually improve the team. Smith is cheaper and a safer pick. What's the fun in that? The Lions I know and love will want to spend the money on the sexier and more risky Matt Stafford.

I keep hearing Curry is the safest pick of them all, and there's something to it because of his athletic and physical gifts. Lions coach Jim Schwartz told me if Curry were the pick, he'd play middle linebacker and never come off the field.

I keep waiting for Peter to give us some NFL Insider information that actually makes sense. This isn't it. So the safest pick in the draft would be a 3 down linebacker and he probably also be cheaper than the most dangerous pick in the draft, a quarterback/Matt Stafford? I would think we could end this debate quickly. Sounds to me like Smith or Curry should be the choice.

I wish Peter would point this out, assuming he has realized it of course. The Lions would have to pay more guaranteed money for a riskier pick or they could pay a little bit less money for a safer pick. I am sure someone could argue Stafford has a higher ceiling than Curry and Smith but how is Stafford going to run an offense when he doesn't have a great LT protecting him and no defense? The Texans tried that and David Carr still ducks every time a defensive player gets near him.

But Curry wasn't a sacker in college, so his pass-rush skills in the NFL are a projection.

So all he would do is tackle a lot of offensive players and play all three downs on the field? That sounds good to me. If the only knock against a guy is that he did not sack the quarterback a lot in college and this person is a linebacker, he is still a good prospect. At least he produced in college. Scouts are wondering why Stafford wasn't a better player than he was in college...that sounds to me like a much bigger deal.

The question is, do the Lions make him the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history (Bart Scott would probably qualify as the highest-paid in terms of long-term deal now, at $8 million per) with at least an $11 million average and the most guaranteed money a linebacker's ever gotten?

Yes! The same Bart Scott who was afraid to lose a good portion of his signing bonus on stitches. I will never forget that story. He is one of Peter's new favorite players and mine as well, simply because of that story.

It is tough to make the decision whether to make Curry the highest paid linebacker ever or they could give $40 million guaranteed to a quarterback who has a 50% chance of washing out. There is always a risk when drafting players and teams try to minimize that risk. I don't know if Stafford does eliminate a lot of the risk. Besides, I don't think QB is the position the Lions need most.

The Lions may say that, financially, a linebacker who doesn't get sacks shouldn't be a $11-million-a-year player (and that's the low end), and it'd be hard to argue with them.

Shut up with the "linebacker who doesn't get sacks" crap. Linebackers are not like defensive ends who are judged on sacks. Sure that may end up being a part of his job, but mostly it is to tackle the opposing offensive players or cover tight ends/running backs and Curry has shown he can do both of those well.

This is like not taking a wide receiver because he doesn't run reverses really well.

There's a certain tea-leaf-reading you have to do in cases like this, and the most logical thing is the Lions, who can certainly survive over the next two or three years with a Backus-Cherilus tackle tandem, are thinking Stafford, then Smith, then Curry, for football and future and financial reasons.

Can Matthew Stafford survive with a Backus-Cherilus tackle tandem? That's my question. Backus and Cherilus are not horrible players but the Lions did not have a great O-line last year so there is always a risk. I think Detroit's decision should be really easy.

Thanks for the information Peter. I have learned nothing and now have a headache.

Let me preface this by saying I remember about 10 years ago talking to a prominent player about his team's marginal playoff chances late in a season. This team wasn't a great team, and this player didn't seem all that excited about making the playoffs. I asked why, and he said it's because in the playoffs he got paid a fraction of what he got paid during the season, and he hated the risk he'd have to take in the playoff game because of his non-guaranteed contract.

That does suck. Not getting paid for the time you put into the job. It's kind of like working on a salary and you get paid whether you work 20 hours a week or 80 hours a week. Which is something people do all over the world. Quit whining Mr. "prominent player on a team with marginal playoff chances." At least you get paid something for the playoff game.

We never think of that, but I'm going to give you an illustration of that.

I think about it but I don't care. Many people don't get paid extra for extra work. It's called "life" and everyone else deals with it, rather than have Peter King bitch about it for us.

Let's take the New England Patriots over the past eight years. In that time, they've played 17 playoff games -- an extra season.

Who else would we take? Is there another team that has ever made the playoffs from Peter's point of view?

No one's crying for the Patriots; it's why you play the game, obviously, and playoff veterans see their careers advance in ways they wouldn't have had they not been successful in the postseason.

No, it sounds to me like you are pretty much crying for the Patriots and the other teams that make the playoffs.

Eight-Year Total: 17 games, $570,000.

Average per game: $33,529.

They are working for extra money on a discount! I feel so horrible for them. So over the last 8 years they have played 17 extra games and only made $33K per game? That's insanity. It's a good thing we are not in a recession here in America or this would sound like the pathetic whining of overpaid players.

Vrabel was New England's player rep to the union, and a member of the 10-man Executive Board of player reps. The payout issue is something he's been bothered by for years.

"In the postseason, obviously, you're playing for the championship, the will to win, the love of the game,'' he said last week. "But the reality is that the most valued part of our season is when we're paid the least by far, and when the injury risk is greatest. It's a fine line we walk as players.''

I don't get paid for driving my car to work everyday. This is when my risk of injury is the greatest during the day. Yet I don't bitch about this...maybe it is because I am a well adjusted person who isn't looking to get paid for everything I do related to my job.

Mike Pereira, the league's vice president of officiating, phoned to make a tremendous offer for the Dr. Z benefit. "I've got a football used in the Super Bowl this year, signed by Mike Tomlin and Dan Rooney. I want to donate it to the auction,'' he said. Whoa. Cool stuff.

Peter King has just turned into Jeff Spicoli.

One other item I'm announcing this week: Two baseball fans will get something they'll never forget: Two tickets to a Red Sox-Yankees game (on one of the following dates: June 9, 10, 11, or Aug. 21, 22, 23), plus an insider's tour of the ballpark, plus a trip to the field for pregame batting practice. Fan of the column (and a Falcons fan who thinks Thomas Dimitroff is only slightly less important to the planet than Barack Obama) Corey Bowdre, Red Sox group sales director, is donating this ultimate-insider's gift for one of this year's episodes of World War III. (Minimum bid: $1,000.)

Hey, who doesn't want to bid a minimum of $1,000 for a chance to see a 2-4 team with the second highest payroll in baseball and a 3-3 team with the highest payroll in baseball team battle it out to see who is going to be in 3rd place in the AL East?

I am kidding of course. Those teams will have better records as the season goes along but for right now these are accurate numbers. I still have Boston in the World Series, I have not given up on them yet.

Updating those who've missed the news: Outstanding pro football writer Paul Zimmerman suffered three strokes in late November and is currently unable to read, write or speak coherently. We're trying to jump-start his therapy and road back to writing one day -- we hope -- by raising money to allow him to undergo some aggressive therapy in Michigan and New Jersey. We've lined up Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Jets coach Rex Ryan to star at a fundraising Pro Football 2009 preview dinner/roundtable/auction May 18 (open bar 6:15 p.m., dinner 7 p.m.) at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, N.J.

And here goes Peter updating what he has written twice before. I am pretty sure someone could catch up with what is going on...given the name of the benefit is the Paul Zimmerman/Nothing Is Impossible Benefit.

Actually the benefit should not be called "Nothing Is Impossible Benefit," rather it should be called "This Is Impossible If You Don't Have Wealthy Friends Who Can Raise Money For You." For those stroke victims who are having similar problems as Dr. Z, but don't know anyone rich or famous to help you pay for the therapy, you can email Peter at

I can't let anyone ever accuse me of not finding something negative in a benefit dinner for a stroke victim.

2. I think the Broncos may trade up in the first round, but not for what you think. Not for a quarterback. Maybe for Tyson Jackson, the LSU defensive end who's the best-available 3-4 defensive end in the draft, or Texas pass-rusher Brian Orakpo.

I watched a lot of LSU games this year and Tyson Jackson always made me feel ho-hum on occasion. Maybe it was because he didn't have Dorsey beside him this year, I don't really know. Though I do like him a lot better than Orakpo, who is not white.

I'm not saying it's impossible they'll draft a quarterback, but believe me when I tell you Josh McDaniels likes Kyle Orton a lot.

After writing 2.5 pages about this last week, I have not even had time to not believe you. I do believe Josh McDaniels is borderline insane though if he likes Orton over Jason Campbell.

4. I think the NFL is really ticking me off with the timing of the schedule-release tomorrow. By unveiling the schedule (in what -- 30 million homes, or whatever NFL Network hits right now?) Tuesday at 7 p.m., the league is depriving legions of drive-time sports-talk-radio fans the ability to dissect the schedule on the way home, or at the work water-cooler in the afternoon.

Number of times I have dissected the NFL schedule: 0
Number of times anything I have looked at the schedule before July: 0
What percentage of weight I think can be taken from an analysis of a matchup between two teams before the draft and training camp: 0%

5. I think I have two issues with the late-afternoon start of the NFL Draft. Why, oh why, is the start of round one at 4:05 p.m. Saturday? Did anyone in the league say: Hey, pretty good baseball doubleheader slated for that day on FOX -- Yanks-Red Sox and Cubs-Cards.

You don't fuck with Peter's Red Sox. How is he supposed to watch a three hour baseball game AND pay attention to the NFL Draft that takes 15 minutes between picks? They are both such high paced events, he can barely keep up. If only he could record one and watch the other...

If it's a brisk first round, the way it was last year (3 hours, 30 minutes), the Jets' first pick ought to come around the top of the sixth, the Patriots' first pick an inning later, and the Giants' first right about the time Papelbon or Rivera is coming in for the save as the sun sets on Fenway. If the draft drags, it's a good excuse for channel-flipping.

So are those Peter's three favorite teams or something? They very well could be...but he is actually saying New York and Boston fans are going to have to pay attention to two things at one time. Yes, we should schedule the entire fucking NFL draft around the time of the Red Sox-Yankees game so we can all be blessed enough to watch the game and not have the NFL draft interfere with our viewing pleasure of these games.

Just stupid.

Yes, the NFL draft not scheduling being scheduled around the Red Sox-Yankees is incredibly stupid. Doesn't the NFL know this is the greatest rivalry in baseball...or in sports...EVER...and they only play like 20 times in a years? That's it, only like 15-20 times a year...and that is not even enough. I think we should cancel the NFL draft so fans in New York and Boston...and more importantly those fans in the "transplant cities," which for these teams would be the entire United States of America, can watch the Yankees and Red Sox duel. It's more important than anything in the world.

8. I think, in the words of one executive on a top 10-drafting team, Michael Crabtree's stress fracture in his foot is not a grave concern. "It's not an issue to us. I view it as less worrisome than the stress fracture [Carolina running back draftee] Jonathan Stewart had last year.

Why the hell did Peter put "Carolina running back draftee" in parenthesis? There is no other player in this column in parenthesis to tell us who this person is or who he plays for. This includes the random ass people he names at the end of the column in his personal message part of MMQB. He doesn't tell us who the hell they are and most of them are not even in the public eye, but Jonathan Stewart gets parenthesis because Peter assumes people may not know who the hell he is. I love how Peter just assumes no one knows who the fuck Stewart is, because Peter himself essentially ignores 50% of the teams in the league.

That was my homer-ific complaint of the week. Don't make me even talk about his lack of Julius Peppers (Carolina defensive end) coverage. If Peppers played in New York, New England, Pittsburgh or Washington this situation would lead off the column...but we get nothing from this NFL insider, because he doesn't give a shit since the team is not in the upper Northeast of the United States. Peppers has not signed his franchise tender yet, may not report to training camp, is taking up $17 million in cap room essentially handicapping anything the team can do, and has not spoken to anyone in two months. I would think this could get a mention and Peter could use what little knowledge he has to figure this out and report on it. That was my second homer-ific complaint of the week. I am done now.

a. I think I am absolutely sick about the injustice that is the death of Nick Adenhart. How can a 22-year-old kid with a suspended license even possess car keys, never mind get behind the wheel of a car and drive again? Wouldn't there be some state law in California that says a driver with a suspended license has to surrender the plates on his car until he gets his license reinstated? And shouldn't there be charges filed against the owner of the car the 22-year-old drunk was driving if it was not his own, for somehow allowing the kid to get behind the wheel of a car, any car?

I thank God every day this Peter King is not this Peter King. Sure, the owner of the car should be charged. God knows it is not easy for a person to steal a car, especially with a prior criminal record, and it makes sense to charge the person who let this asshole drive a know, since he had absolutely nothing to do with the accident and did not cause it in any fashion.

All kidding aside...It's a car, not an illegal weapon the person provided this guy. What is the owner supposed to do? Do a complete background check on him? If the person did not know of the driver's past criminal history, he thought he was just doing a favor to a friend.

d. If Evan Longoria and Matt Garza are not in the top three vote-getters for MVP and Cy Young this year, I'll be stunned. Longoria hits good pitches 400 feet. Garza has the Red Sox totally figured out.

Brilliant analysis six games into the season. 3 years ago Chris Shelton was going to be the homerun champion in the AL. Why don't we let the season play out a little bit more?

e. Keep your Saturday night job, Amy Poehler.

She actually quit that show. So it should say, "Get back your Saturday night job, Amy Poehler." Also, I thought Parks and Recreation was pretty good for a pilot episode. I was laughing just seeing the Bob Knight picture in that guy's office and the Indian guy (I know, I know it is not PC but I can't remember his name) trying to pick up Rashida Jones at the neighborhood meeting was hilarious.

f. I'm pretty much on board with everything about "The Office,'' with a couple of exceptions: A season or so ago, Ryan was about to be profiled in the Wall Street Journal. Now he's a shiftless, no-account bum. How'd that happen?

He was arrested for embezzling money from Dunder-Mifflin and also had a borderline cocaine problem...once you steal money from your employer it is usually difficult to find another job, especially considering you have no other prior job experience besides working at the company you embezzled money from.

Is Peter really that stupid he can't realize this? Also, that is only one exception, not a couple.

g. For a quasi-famous restaurant, Sibling Rivalry, you can do far, far better than you did Friday night.

h. Coffeenerdness: So everyone in Boston kept telling me to try Sibling Rivalry. And as annoying as the microscopic five-bite, $25 cod entrée was, the bitter espresso was worse.

Peter King, restaurant reviewer strikes again. I can't wait until the day he complains his food tasted slightly like someone had spit chewing tobacco in it...because there is a good chance someone did.

i. Dying to Tweet. Rumor has it I'm going to be taught how by my people this week, when I'm town for some high-level (ha-ha-ha) meetings in midtown Manhattan. (The real high-level meeting, I think, is seeing Citi Field on Thursday night.) Sounds like I'm missing everything in Tweetland.

PeterKingLuvsBrett: It's 6am. Where is the free coffee at? I thought I got free coffee.

PeterKingLuvsBrett: Wife still hasn't fixed coffee. Will call her out in next column.

PeterKingLuvsBrett: Wife left me. Calling Brett.

j. You put on the best Easter spread in the world, Pam Whiteley.

That sounds like sexual innuendo to me.

Who the hell is Pam Whiteley?

k. Jack Bowers, you've got a lot of people from a lot of places pulling for you this week.

He feels the need to explain who Jonathan Stewart is...but Jack Bowers needs no introduction.

Good luck.

I like to imagine Jack Bowers had a stroke as well (not that I want him to) and Peter King can't help him because all of the money is going to Dr. Z...but Peter did mention him in his weekly column. That should make him feel better.


ivn said...

I think I see where PK is coming from with this "Curry can't sack the QB" thing. I mean, Ray Lewis has never had more than five sacks in a season...why has Baltimore built their defense around this guy?

ivn said...

also, ten bucks says someone pees in Peter's clam chowdah in the coming week.

The Casey said...

I'm glad they're doing all this to help out Dr. Z, and I (kinda selfishly, I admit) hope that he can get back to writing columns someday, but, really, wouldn't all this come across a lot better if we knew that "Nothing is Impossible" was going to be an ongoing foundation for stroke victims?

Can't you talk about the upcoming schedule on Wednesday? Or any of the other 150+ days between now & the start of the season?

I'm also not a big fan of the late start of the draft, but for the other reasons Peter was talking about. I don't really want to stay up until 11pm-1am to watch the NFL Draft. Aren't they just kind of giving the finger to everyone who lives on the East Coast? I know it's Saturday and all, but I think ratings will be down this year, because I hear rumors that sometimes people like to go out on Saturday nights and not sit around and watch the NFL Draft.

And Peter King's license plate idea makes no sense. If I get my license suspended for a DUI, then nobody else should be allowed to use my car? I drove a friend who got a DUI around for a few months, and I frequently used his car so as not to put extra miles on mine; it's not like he was driving it.

You know Peter is picking Longoria and Garza because they played well against the Red Sox, so they must be the BESTEST PLAYERS EVAR!!! OMG!!!1!

I Googled Jack Bowers and didn't really find anything useful. I wonder if he's misspelling Jack Bauer. It wouldn't surprise me.

AJ said...

Has Peter heard of the Internet? Seriously. Who cares if they are using the NFL network to give the schedule, in fact, if it was on ESPN or something it would probably be the lowest rated program of all time. No one cares who plays who. If he wants to know who NE is playing, I am willing to bet they play Buf, Miami, and the NYJ twice each...

If he wants to find out the moment it comes out, use your computer and search google. What a complete loser. This is the same guy complaining the the draft is on at the same time as other sports. You know, the fact the baseball season started, the NHL has playoffs, the NBA season is nearing its end....but no, the NFL should be paying attention to all the other sports to make sure their draft that lasts ALL DAY is not on at the same time as anything else.

Oh and I for one don't care what time the draft starts, nor do I care who other teams pick. I'll tone in to see who the Lions pick (though I hate them).

Oh, and for a fast food place, Wendy's you cooked that $.99 double stack the other day to perfection!

Bengoodfella said...

I looked up Ray Lewis, Patrick Willis and a couple of other LB's and they never really had a whole lot of sacks in a season. I hate to break it to Peter, and he should know this, but a lot of times the number of sacks a player gets in a season is a direct reflection of what kind of defense the team runs. How often they blitz the quarterback and all of that.

He had better watch out or someone is going to do something to his food. Seriously...I am sure nice restaurants don't like it when someone who knows jackshit about food starts calling them out on his sports related web site.

I am with you Casey. I feel like there is a bunch of money being raised to help Dr. Z and there are plenty of other people out there, younger and in a less positive financial situations, who could use the treatment as well. We all want Dr. Z to get well but I think they could all of this for a higher purpose, rather than one person.

I know, it's not like talk radio won't be able to talk about the NFL schedule for the rest of the summer as well. I would think it could get old at some point. The NFL draft starting so late is becoming one of many things that is a middle finger to the East Coast. We are going to have another East Coast/West Coast feud here very soon. We have the NCAA Championship ending at 11:30 and MLB games doing until that time as well. A lot of people are asleep by the time they are over.

None of Peter King's social policy thoughts make any sense. The cause of the tragedy was not that guy having access to a car but driving drunk and running a red light. He just needs to not talk about things like that. He makes no sense.

I figured out after I posted this that Peter just saw the Rays play the Red Sox and that is why he said that. He even said Garza owns the Red Sox. Hey, if they can play well against them, Peter must think they are the best in the league.

I would love it if he misspelled Jack Bauer's name. I love how he doesn't tell us who these people are at all but NFL players he tells us who they play for.

Bengoodfella said...

I think the Lions are going to pick Stafford AJ...I know nothing though. I really don't but I think this is a mistake.

I love the compliment to Wendy's, it is something Peter would write, but Wendy's so below him.

Martin said...

The draft should start at noon and last 8 hours eastern. That would give 8-11 for the east coast to hash out what went on during the day. I live in Los Angeles and getting up at 9am would be fine, since it's just the time one would get ready to watch a Sunday game. it makes way to much sense for them to do this though.

On another note, R.I.P. Harry Kalas, Phillies announcer and voice of NFL Films.

Bengoodfella said...

I knew the West Coast would not mind if the draft started at 12pm. The people on the West Coast are used to the football games starting at 9am. I would bet the same thing goes for college football games. The BCS games don't start until 8:30pm here and everyone is getting ready to go to bed early in the second half. No one wants to leave the West Coast out of the viewing schedule but it doesn't really make sense to start the draft so late. There is no way anyone stays up to watch the whole thing...actually, I am sure someone will but it won't be me.

Yeah it sucks that Harry Kalas died. It was so sudden as well. He just collapsed and the next thing you know, he is gone.