Thursday, April 23, 2009

19 comments Two For One Thursday: King and Mariotti

It's two for one Thursday! Everyone don't get too excited all at the same time. I checked the Internet today and the first thing I saw was this and the second thing I saw was this following Tweet by Peter King:

Reporting live from the Starbucks in the St. Louis Renaissance. Do not buy that a deal between Lions and Stafford is close.
from TwitterBerry

Ignoring the fact that Peter King is actually reporting from a Starbucks now (I give him a year until he actually purchases one and sets it up as his headquarters) and also ignoring the fact that I was under the impression he wanted to support local coffee chains (there must be no local chains in St. Louis), ESPN and Peter King are reporting two different type things. Normally when I see either person or entity reporting something I am generally a little suspicious since both King and ESPN don't have the best track record of late. ESPN's record of breaking false stories speaks for itself and Peter King still doesn't believe Torry Holt signed with Jacksonville. I don't know who to believe here, but I am guessing that both are wrong. ESPN says the Lions are negotiating a deal with Stafford to draft him #1 as their quarterback and Peter King says the two sides are not close. Maybe they are really close on a deal for Matt Stafford to be the new GM or Director of Concessions? I don't know but Peter and ESPN tend to be a little wrong sometimes.

I guess this means Bill Simmons will be writing an NHL article very soon. Get back on the bandwagon Bill, and you had better start thinking of an excuse as to why you hopped back on, after hopping off so publicly, and you had better do it ASAP (Wow, that sounded exactly like something Peter King would write in his MMQB).

I like Peter King's Tuesday MMQB Mailbag almost as much as I like his MMQB.

Jerry Reese doesn't need my advice. In his first two drafts, the Giants general manager re-stocked his team very well, including the 2007 draft, which resulted in all seven of his picks making the team.

Tom Heckert in Philadelphia doesn't need me either. He and Andy Reid have had a few less-than-scintillating first- and second-round gaffes, but they've molded a consistent playoff team.

Peter usually doesn't need dessert either but that doesn't stop him from eating it. Same principle here. Let's just say he will give these two teams completely unsolicited advice.

But I won't understand these teams if they don't trade for Anquan Boldin or Braylon Edwards.

Possibly the Eagles and the Giants don't want wide receivers who are semi-prima donnas and cause trouble for the team. If you think back a few years, both teams have made Super Bowls with receivers that were problem children and then the next year it all fell apart. Maybe they don't want to repeat that, maybe the Cardinals and the Browns want too much in return, or maybe the Giants and Eagles just don't want to improve their passing games.

Need I go on? There's so much more of a washout factor with these high picks at receivers than at, say, the offensive line. Why, if you're a team with a win-now roster, do you take one of these high-risk guys in the first or second round and hope he pans out when there are two players, Edwards and Boldin, who you know could step in and be big players now?

This is actually a valid question. The problem I see is that Braylon Edwards has a major case of the dropsies and has tended to be a semi-problem in the locker room for the Browns. I would actually trade for Anquan Boldin, but I do know he is also going to want a new contract. Now whether the Eagles or Giants want that problem of a new contract remains to be seen. Again, maybe the Cardinals and Browns know the Giants and Eagles won't find a better WR in the draft and are playing hard ball?

The only way I wouldn't do it, frankly, is if I were sure there was an injury factor, or attitude factor,

Like the fact Boldin has played 80 of a possible 96 games in his career or that articles like this have been written about Edwards?

Matt of Atlanta: I think the reason we've had such a disparity in the 2000s within the NFL (e.g. 2008 winless Lions, 2007 unbeaten Patriots) is because the teams that make the playoffs are rewarded with better valued draft choices. It's unfair, period.

The solution, I believe, is to give the bad teams a choice where they want to pick. That sounds insane, but why wouldn't you allow the worst team to analyze the talent in the draft, and if there's no player the club feels is worth the top pick, allow that team to pick sixth or eighth, for example.

Shockingly, Peter has come up with a solution that I have a problem with. It makes sense at face value to give teams a choice as to where they want to draft but what happens when the final two spots are to be chosen by the Super Bowl teams and the choices are #1 in the draft and #5 in the draft? How is that fair to those two teams that have excelled to force them to use a major part of their salary cap room signing a player they probably don't want or need? Good teams have become good teams because of good drafting and good salary cap management, why punish them for doing this? You can't punish success.

Right now the Cardinals are up against the cap pretty tightly from what I have heard (at least on Pro Football Talk), what if they had to draft at the #5 spot? Then they would have to trade Anquan Boldin and make some moves because they have to accomodate a draft pick who wants a lot of money. This would definitely cause teams to pass on draft choices and make the draft look like a mess. I don't think punishing good teams is the right way to go about changing the draft around. Rather than dick around the problem, why not fix it by regulating how much rookies can make? I don't like a rookie scale but I would do this before punishing successful teams for being successful.

Again, Peter is wrong.

Ben of Decatur, Ga.: "We often hear how quarterbacks and receivers have such a high washout/bust rate for first round picks. What position has the highest success rate?''

I don't know the answer, but it's a great offseason story.

Thanks for the information Joe Morgan. Why doesn't Peter stop Tweeting all fucking day and have someone look this up for him? Or maybe look it up himself?

Joe of Harrisburg, Pa.: "Peter, let's say the Lions draft Matthew Stafford first and offer him a reasonable amount for what is really a totally unproven quantity, say $2 million or $3 million a year. And of course, Stafford's agent rejects that offer. What happens if the Lions absolutely refuse to raise their offer? How trapped are the teams into paying the hostage prices these early picks demand? Could the Lions simply say the offer is $10 million for five years, and you can take it or leave it?

The problem is the Lions went 0-16 last year. If they make a principled stand, I think a lot of fans would love them, but would the fans of the Lions love it if the team made a good point while not getting any better on the field?

And that is not a real answer. This is like SNL Celebrity Jeopardy. It could be a yes or no answer or Peter could say, "the Lions could do this but it would lead to Stafford holding out of training camp and possibly re-entering the draft next year." Then if he were smart he would follow this up with, "If they are that worried about money, they should not draft a QB first in the draft." That's what he should have said...but he did not.

Why even have a mailbag if you are not going to answer questions directly?

Everyone is not going to believe this...but Jay Mariotti doesn't like the Cubs chances this year nor does he like the Cubs fans and is just being an overall dick.

Promising myself that I'd take four showers afterward, while mixing extra-strength Tide with the soap, I reluctantly appeared on a radio show hosted by the scummy Rod Blagojevich.

The percentages are 100% that Blago felt the exact same way. I just used hand sanitizer after bookmarking Jay's column.

He asked if I agreed with him that his beloved Cubs, in their 101st season of punishing hearts and torturing minds, finally will win the World Series this year.

What? He is attempting to do a radio interview with a sports columnist AND talk about sports? Would you ask Tom Petty that question?

I lambasted him for randomly proposing the thought and ignoring the voluminous historical evidence against that ever happening,

Sure, they have not won a World Series in a long, long time but if at any time this is a valid question to ask and should not be lambasted, it is this year, considering after last year's record. This is not a random thought at all and Jay Mariott is, yet again, being a dick.

then asked him to do me a favor next time he goes to Wrigley Field.

I have one too. Push Jay Mariotti into the locker room. Just once.

When you're a Cubs fan, and you're fighting an unprecedented futility run that recently has included the Steve Bartman debacle and the dead-team-walking playoff sweeps of the last two autumns, you need to temper all in-season giddiness and realize it suddenly could be swallowed up in October.

I make jokes about Cubs fans sometimes but I am never this bad. Jay Mariotti has a special way of making everything seem like it is made of shit, and being a Cubs fan is no exception. Maybe that is the result of having spent a lifetime hating himself and everyone else.

The win gave the Cubs a 6-4 record, and had they lost, they'd have been 5-5. Needed that one? Such is the psyche of Cubdom, where every victory feeds the Blago delusion that This Is The Year and every loss is a reminder that No Year Is The Year.

You know it could very well be the result of the years of watching the team not win a World Series. Jay thinks the Cubs fans get too high after wins and too low after losses, as stated above. He would much rather the team just be depressive about the entire fucking year and never cheer for the team until they win a World Series...because that makes sports so much fun to follow.

If the goat is dead, that supposedly means the Billy Goat Curse -- which is said to have prevented the Cubs from reaching a World Series since 1945 -- also is dead. Of course, a similarly butchered goat's head, hanging from the same statue, didn't make a difference two years ago. Why would it now?

Again, how dare any Cubs fans try to do silly and outrageous things in the attempt to get their team to win a World Series! Jay just can't understand why the fans don't act as if the world is ending and the Cubs are a bunch of constant failures. He thinks the Cubs fans should just be negative people that berate others through cheap shots and have a horribly skewed view of the world until the day something positive happens or they all die of heart attacks...some sooner than others.

These days, the Cubs are expected to contend annually for the National League pennant.

Generally having 97 wins the year before and pretty much the same team coming back for the next year will cause these types of expectations.

Meanwhile, the 2009 club is looking good enough to win the NL Central again but isn't necessarily better than the fortified Dodgers,

Which fortunately doesn't matter at all, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT IN THE FREAKING NL CENTRAL!

I'm not sure how many consecutive playoff flops the fans can tolerate -- weren't they better off mentally when the team was 30 games out of first place? -- but another postseason letdown certainly is possible.

It certainly seems like attendance is down when the Cubs are not as good of a team. So it appears the fans are fine mentally, they just want the Cubs to continue to win. I wonder if Jay Mariotti realizes you can answer these types of questions using the Internet and doing research? Probably not.

Is Derrek Lee getting old and losing his power stroke before his time?

Well, dumbass, if Derrek Lee is old then he is not losing his power stroke before his time. It is probably time to lose his power stroke if he is getting old.

So what if he is losing his power stroke anyway? The Cubs could easily move Aramis Ramirez to first base next year and call this guy up when he is ready. The world is not ending.

In the sort of daring decision that makes or breaks an executive's career, Hendry boldly handed $30 million to baseball's most volcanic player. This is a man who once slammed a water bottle near a fan and started screaming at him. This is a man who heard an analyst criticize him on the clubhouse TV and took off upstairs to the press box, thankfully stopped by a Texas team executive before he could reach the booth. What possibly might Bradley do at Wrigley, where fans are known to overimbibe, throw baseballs and trash on the field and even fire the n-word at people they don't like?

I want Jay Mariotti to rip Milton Bradley and then have Milton Bradley come after him. I want, need, have-to-have this happen.

It took Bradley only two weeks to stop talking to the media.

Respectfully, I find the media to be a bunch of idiots who ask idiotic questions. If I were a professional athlete, it would take me one week to stop talking to you all.

The North Side of Chicago, which used to be a playground for post-frat hookups and beer-guzzling, now involves an overpowering baseball experience ... until the shots and sex take over afterward.

The "sex" takes over? What the hell does this mean? Are people scrogging behind the wall of ivy or something?

Like anyone else in a Cubs uniform, Bradley will be adored if he produces and reviled if he stinks. So far, he stinks, with only one hit in 19 at-bats.

Why does Jay Mariotti hate the Cubs so much and think their fans are the worst people in the world? This happens with every team in MLB. The other night I thought Chipper Jones should be traded to an American League team so he could DH and not play 3B anymore. I still have a Jeff Francouer article bookmarked for when he goes in a slump so I can rail him for not making adjustments at the plate. I like both players but every fan gets frustrated with his team's players and doesn't like them at some point. The Cubs fans are not overly evil or anything.

If not, Hal Steinbrenner says the Yankees will hire him as a "consultant." He'd better consult with Piniella first. "Because I can assure you when it comes to managing, this is it for me," he said.

He can't take much more. I can't take much more.

I can't take much more Jay Mariotti. Even when he has quieted down his beefs with Chicago managers and is not taking completely obvious cheap shots at everyone, he still manages to take cheap shots at people and treat the entire Chicago Cub fan base as if they are most irrational group of morons for continuing to cheer for their team.

They derive enjoyment from a vicious circle that seems painful and tiresome, which, by the way, is the very definition of masochism.

Well it is not the VERY definition. It is close but googling the word can give you the very definition. Again, I realize that is research, something Jay doesn't do.

If anyone gets pleasure from a vicious circle that seems painful and tiresome, it is Jay Mariotti. His vicious circle is that he has a falling out with a Chicago sports person or entity, then writes a column and take shots at that Chicago sports personality or entity, hides when they want to confront Jay about what he has said, writes another article condemning this person or entity, and then repeats the cycle over again.

Only Jay Mariotti would condemn any type of sports fans for believing in their team, no matter how unrealistic their belief may be.

One last Tweet from Pete:

The deal is not close with Stafford and Leos, true. But I cannot envision it not getting done. It has to happen. Has to.
from web

(Leos? Who is he Gregg Easterbrook?) If you believe Peter, this deal is going to happen, but apparently Stafford will fall a long way if the Lions don't take him. I have two questions about this:

First, doesn't this give the Lions a lot of leverage in negotiations with Stafford, assuming both parties are privy to this information? I would think it does give him some leverage. It is the Lions, I have the gut feeling they are going to screw this up somehow.

Second, why are the Lions so eager to draft a player that no other team really wants? I know other teams don't have the need for a quarterback but Sanchez and Freeman are climbing up draft boards apparently, so why would Matthew Stafford slide a lot? I know Aaron Rodgers also slid and that turned out well, but if I am a Lions fan I am worried about the fact that Stafford will slide if the Lions don't sign him. Maybe it is just me.


Edward said...

Ben, you don't think the Steelers would love to have the #1 overall pick (or the #5 overall pick) and take Michael Crabtree or a stud left tackle?

Like I said yesterday, the whole "early picks are bad because they're expensive" storyline is very much overdone. The early picks are bad if they are bad picks. Generally, Super Bowl and playoff teams have been making good draft choices, so giving them early picks only magnifies their advantage.

King's idea is terrible, but for the opposite reason you've argued.

Anonymous said...

Could the Lions simply say the offer is $10 million for five years, and you can take it or leave it?That is a really interesting question. Imagine, if a team did that, what would the player do? If he sits out a year, he'll likely fall several spots. In addition, he likely won't have a good source of income. He might have to take the deal because he'd make less money the next year by falling too far. And of course, the first player to accept that deal would encourage the rest of the owners to do the same thing. This could lead to a set rookie salary without the NFLPA approval.

Seriously, if a really good player left college, and then held out a year, still unproven in the league, how far do you think would he fall the following year when he reentered the draft? Especially considering history of people who had a year off between college and pros (Maurice Clarette, Mike Williams). Granted they were both obviously young and immature.

If Stafford held out all year for money, do you think any team would be willing to draft him in the first round the following year?

Bengoodfella said...

Edward, I do see what you are saying and a bad pick is really what causes the problem in regards to salary. Also, giving the Steelers Michael Crabtree or a stud left tackle would magnify the advantage. I was just stating there is a flip side to that in that some teams go into the draft with little salary cap space and it could very well be a punishment to have to draft that early in the draft. I don't think that will be the overwhelming case obviously, most of the time it would give a great advantage to the better teams if they end up with higher picks. Your argument is going to occur most of the time, I don't know why I brought up the problem that could happen maybe 5% of the time when a team doesn't have room but I did. I think it would backfire because teams w/o cap room would get punished and you really don't want to give good teams an advantage by letting them pick earlier. I think even if that idea happened many of the lottery teams would still pick there. The PR would be too negative if they dropped back out of the top 10.

I am glad we can agree his idea is terrible and I don't think his idea is good for football at all.

Anon, that is actually a great question and I wish Peter had given an answer. Personally, it of course depends on the player and the reason they did not sign the contract. I think if the offer was a low ball offer like the example given some of the people around the league would not blame the player for not accepting the offer since there wasn't a rookie cap.

If a player held out for the year, I definitely think the player would fall the next year but I don't really think the player would fall that much, provided that person kept in shape of course. Mike Williams, though he failed, was drafted in the top 10 of the draft and I don't think that was enough to dissuade GMs from doing it again.

I would like to see what others think about this as well. Assuming the player was a top 10 pick the year before, he would be picked a couple of spots after that the year after, but he better have a good reason to hold out because I would think teams would red flag that player if he has a bad attitude.

I think if Stafford held out this year, with McCoy and Bradford coming out in next year's draft, I could see Stafford going in the 1st round but I don't think he would be in the top 10. Of course I like Bradford and McCoy more than I like Stafford.

I do wonder what others think on this.

The Casey said...

What I was wondering is what happens to a player if they don't sign? Is it like the NBA, where that team has the rights to the player indefinitely, or like MLB, where they go back in the draft the next year?

I also wonder if the reason that we're hearing about other teams talking about Sanchez and Freeman is that they assume Stafford's going to be gone.

BGF, I think Stafford would fall a lot, but that's looking at the other QBs this year as opposed to next year. It would be interesting if players could do like in basketball and declare for a draft but not hire an agent.

Also, I think it's a given that no GM of an NFL team needs Peter King's advice.

AJ said...

See I wonder that as well, if a player doesnt sign, does he become a free agent after so many months? Or can he not play at all until the next years draft? Do you have to enter the draft in order to play for an NFL team? I would think not...but i dont know.

And if the Lions give him a take it or leave it option and he doesnt take it, no way he gets drafted in the 1st round next year. I would bet he falls very very far.

See the problem with the take it or leave it thing is this, how do you think the fans would take that? Since the Lions have the pick and all, how would the Lions fans take the team NOT signing the number one pick coming off a 0-16 season? There is pressure on the team as well as the player to sign a deal, which is why these top picks get so much money. They know the team basically has to pay them or else they risk of looking like complete idiots.

Speaking of idiots, I heard this morning the Lions had a deal done with Curry, but were still looking to get a deal done with Stafford. What?? I mean i understand the leverage thing, but if you want Curry, sign him and draft him, period.

The thing that really gets me about Stafford is the fact if the Lions dont draft him, where does he fall too? If he isn't good enough to be picked 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th...then why is he worth the 1st pick? From all indications, St.L is not looking at him...KC probably wont take him...Settle looks like they like Sanchez, Cleveland I doubt would take him, Cincy is fine at QB as is Oak. Maybe I dont make sense, and I realize some teams wouldn't draft him since they have a QB already in place...but to me, St.L needs a new QB as does KC and Seattle. I just dont think any of those teams would take him.

Bengoodfella said...

If RuleBook were here, he could answer this quickly but I do believe that Stafford has hired an agent so he definitely can't play college football again, so he would have to either sit out a year or go play somewhere else. I remember there was a discussion about this when Russell held out a few years ago and I think that is what the options would have been for him.

I really think Stafford would fall a bit to the end of the first round next year...depending on what type of season McCoy and Bradford and Tebow have next year. I think you are right.

The Lions can't play hard ball with the pick, I think that fan base is counting on them too much to turn the team around. They would be a laughingstock, I think, if they did that. I find it hard to believe they have a deal with Curry and are also looking at Stafford. That tells me they are undecided still or are trying to get leverage. Either way, pick a player and be done with it.

I was looking at a mock draft and assuming those teams that are interested in Sanchez actually take him over Stafford and a team like St. Louis doesn't change its draft board when he is available, I could see Stafford getting picked at Jacksonville (though I don't know why) or San Fran or Denver...of course if those teams let him go then I think he goes to the Jets. That's just a guess though.

RuleBook said...

To answer everyone's questions:

1) A team holds a drafted player's rights for the entire season, and if he does not sign, he must re-enter the draft the following year.

This happened (somewhat) with the incomparable Drew Henson. He was drafted by the Texans in the 6th round in 2003 because he had said he was going to play baseball. After that didn't work out so well for him, he decided after the 2003 season was over that he was going to play football.

The Texans knew they would lose his rights at the end of the season, and everyone knew he'd be drafted in the first day, and so he wasn't going to sign for 6th round money. Therefore, they traded him to the Cowboys for a 3rd round pick before the draft, so the Texans would at least get something out of the pick.

I am not aware of an actual case of anyone not eventually signing unless they were playing another sport. Generally speaking, the PR hit the team and player would both take by not signing would ultimately hurt both of them, so they eventually reach a compromise.

2) A player must have entered the draft one time in order to be eligible to play for an NFL team. If he goes undrafted, he can be signed by anyone at anytime (i.e., he does not have to reenter the draft the following year if no one signed him after the previous year's draft).

AJ said...

And Rulebook comes through!!

Martin said...

I can almost guarantee if the team doesn't come through with a "reasonable" offer based on precedent and such, there would be a lawsuit immediatly over the validity of the draft or the the draft process. The draft is only legal because the Union agrees to it through collective bargaining. If a team were to say, draft Stafford and then offer a contract substantially below the value of that slot from previous years, the player could probably argue legitimate restraint of trade. It would be like the team drafting him then offering a 5 year deal at minimum salary. They don't have the right to do that because it's not part of the precedent set through the actual allowing of the draft itself. If on the other hand the team makes a reasonable offer based on precedent and they two sides can't agree, eh, oh well.

Bengoodfella said...

I like how RuleBook looks everything up because we are all too lazy to do it. Thanks for the information, I figured it was something like that. It is in the best interests of all parties to come to an agreement and that is why very rarely does a player not play when drafted.

Martin, I think you have confused me a little bit, but I think I know what you are saying. Basically the Lions would have to make a genuine offer rather than the low ball offer that was proposed?

Clearly, if drafted by Detroit, Stafford will need to sign with them and they will need to sign him. Why they have an agreement apparently with Aaron Curry also is a little odd.

Fred Trigger said...

Off topic, but if Milton Bradley were white he would be described as a gritty, gutty gamer ala Paul O'Neil. Instead he is known as a crazy tempermental black man. Just sayin.

Bengoodfella said...

Wow, that was off topic, but potentially also very correct. O'Neil tended to knock over water coolers, act like a 5 year old to umpires and generally just be a temperamental asshole. Though O'Neil never tore his ACL jumping up and down arguing with the umpire.

Milton Bradley gets a lot of attention for his melt downs but I think his attitude is pretty comparable to O'Neil's attitude.

Fred Trigger said...

haha, yeah it was. That part of the article caught my eye, though.

Martin said...

BTW Simmons has an article up, and I didn't even look at it. I know it's going to be horrible merely by looking at the title, which was something like:

"Celtics-Bulls Series Could Be One Of The All Time Classics"

Fuck me to tears. TWO GAMES!! They had played TWO GAMES!! Anybody else think that if this series was between the Hawks and Raptors he would even give a shit, much less watch them? Burn in Hell you homeristic asshat.

Bengoodfella said...

I know, I was thinking about that this morning. I really want to put a mock draft up, even though they annoy me, because of all the discussions here. I kind of want to give my 2 cents worth about it.

I also want to look at the Simmons article, especially since the Celts blew the Bulls out last night. People LOVE talking about Simmons though and I love writing about him. I have to read the article first though.

I wonder if it is a homeristic ass hat type article.

AJ said...

I agree 100% with Martin!! I looked at the title, glanced at the article, and then closed the web browser 3 seconds later. Its like his other article this week about interviewing coaches in the middle of the game...notice how many words he uses in the Bulls part of it to make fun of their coach. This coming from the same guy that used to rip on Rivers all the time, cuz he SUCKS as a coach and still does.

By the way, name one person who likes Kevin Garnett...i'll wait.

Oh, and the newspapers around here are saying its a pretty much done deal the Lions take Stafford. At the same time, reporting that like 60-70% of the fans disagree with that pick. Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2009 Detroit Lions!! (See what i did there? isn't that funny??? no?)

Bengoodfella said...

I do see what you did there! I think when I work up the mock draft I am just going to leave the Lions off of it. That may make it easier.

Anonymous said...

peter king is back at starbucks today via twitter

Bengoodfella said...

Now all he has to do is buy the Starbucks and start working there as it being his headquarters.