Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2 comments MMQB Review: The Insanity of the NFL Has Blown Peter's Mind Until It Blows His Mind Again Next Year Edition

We still have open spots in the fantasy baseball league and if anyone wants to join then send me an email to bengoodfella@yahoo.com and I will send you an invite.

Peter King detailed his brief trip to Iceland in last week's MMQB. Peter also dismissed the importance of signing big name free agents and spending money early in free agency, all while saturating his coverage in MMQB with rumors and discussion of where the big name free agents will land and which teams will be spending money early in free agency. This week talks about the Sam Bradford trade to the Eagles, thoughts on the free agency moves that "shook up" the football world (not that Peter would ever go overboard with hyperbole or anything...this has been the craziest offseason since at least last year's offseason though), puts a timeline to Darrelle Revis because Peter can't get enough of discussing Revis, and laughably says he spoke with "someone" on the competition committee about rule changes regarding what constitutes a catch and everyone knows that "someone" was Jeff Fisher. I mean, come on, Peter has mentioned 2-3 times in MMQB he's had conversations about Jeff Fisher and what constitutes a catch. I would bet this "someone" is Fisher.

The NFL’s opening weekend is 26 weeks away, which is why there’s no good reason to say the sky is falling in any NFL market.

I hope Peter is sure to tell other sportswriters that the sky is not falling in any NFL market as they award the "winners" and "losers" of the free agency period.

And of course, what follows in this MMQB will be Peter's judgments on what NFL teams did or didn't do in free agency. The sky isn't falling, but judgment day for offseason moves has arrived.

This morning, before I get to one of the strangest weeks in NFL offseason history, three notes:


*Until the next offseason

In Hawaii early this morning Eastern Time, the National Football League Players Association elected DeMaurice Smith to a third three-year term as executive director. It seems amazing that Smith was elected unanimously on the first ballot, seeing that he had eight challengers in an impassioned run-up to the vote. Smith was vulnerable in this election, for many reasons—including the impression that he did a bad deal with the 2011 CBA and his consistently contentious relationship with the league—but none of his challengers could muster the required 17 of 32 votes from the player reps who spent the weekend listening to proposals for the job.

It's almost like the NFL players eventually recognized the big beef they had with Smith was the result of an agreement they themselves had approved. 

There’s some noise out there that Adrian Peterson could be traded to Arizona. Well, I guess he could, at some point. But the money would be a major problem. I spoke with a reliable Cardinals source Sunday night, and the three years and $45 million left on Peterson’s contract is an absolute non-starter with the Cards.

What? Why would paying a running back $15 million per year be a non-starter? Though I do like the idea if Peterson landed with the Cards then sportswriters would talk about how Bruce Arians made a brilliant move, while Chip Kelly continues to be beaten up for signing DeMarco Murray for less money than Peterson makes.

It's funny how things change so quickly. Last year, Kelly was the darling of the NFL media and this year Arians is inching his way to being the darling. I can't wait for a sportswriter to point out that if Arians is so great then how come he has zero playoff or Super Bowl victories?

Two other detrimental factors: Arizona loves the running-back crop in this draft, and the Cardinals, with the 23rd and 55th overall picks, would be able to get a very good one. And Peterson turns 30 on Saturday. Not an optimum age for a back, even one who got so little wear on his tires in 2014.

I believe Todd Gurley will be a Top 10 running back in the NFL. So if I were any team who was in position to draft him then I would not be paying big money for a running back. That includes Chip Kelly and the Eagles, though I guess he doesn't love Gurley as much as I do.

And new Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford, who flies from his home in Oklahoma to Philadelphia this morning to get on a new rehab track for his left ACL injury, still needs to be pinched. Bitterness-free, Bradford can’t believe his good fortune.

Well, Bradford is just going to miss the Rams propelling themselves into Super Bowl contention based on the trade they just made with the Eagles. It's just like how Jeff Fisher worked three additional first round picks from the Redskins into zero playoff appearances.

A little history here: When Jimmy Johnson took over the Cowboys a quarter-century ago, he was Chip Kelly.

What? Reincarnation IS real? I hope I come back as someone really cool when/if I'm reincarnated. Wait, doesn't a person have to be dead before that person's soul can be reincarnated? Wait even more, how was Johnson Chip Kelly 25 years ago and now Chip Kelly is Johnson? Come to think of it, I had never heard of Chip Kelly 25 years ago. Did Chip Kelly kill Jimmy Johnson and steal his soul? I haven't seen Johnson in a while, so not only is Chip Kelly making the personnel moves he wants to make that go against conventional wisdom but he's stealing the soul of others now? What an asshole.

College coach with a satchel of ideas he would bring to the big leagues—a small and fast defense, a willingness to trade in a league that hated trading (Dallas made 55 trades in his tenure), hubris, believing that what won in college could win in the NFL, and being married to no individual player or coach. It worked. Dallas won three Super Bowls, two with Johnson as coach and then one with Barry Switzer coaching Johnson’s players.

Oh. Well, Johnson was sort of married to Emmitt Smith wasn't he? He and the Cowboys were all bold about letting Smith hold out prior to the 1993 season, then backed down and gave him a new contract once they lost two games to start the 1993 season. I'm sure that was all Jerry Jones' fault. We know he was always hesitant to pay his own players. 

“Does Kelly remind you of you, 25 years ago?” I asked Johnson the other day.

“Well, in some ways,” Johnson said. “I really like what I have seen out of Chip Kelly. Chip called me and we visited a couple times, and what I heard from him, I liked.

Chip Kelly has visited Jimmy Johnson a couple of times and now Peter says Johnson is a sounding board for Kelly. Maybe, but it doesn't sound like they are BFF's or anything like that.

“The similarities? We’re both confident, both competent, both know how to win. We talked after he got the new responsibilities this year.

These are the new responsibilities that Kelly insisted just fell in his lap and he in no way requested that he be given them.

I just said, ‘Go with people you believe in, and go with players who fit your personality and fit your system.’ I have talked to Bill Belichick about this too. Certain players are going to be successful in his system and not in others.”


So does this mean that Jimmy Johnson is the respected ex-head coach who deals out advice to current head coaches? He is the Tony Dungy for NFL head coaches I guess.

The most controversial trade of them all last week was Bradford and a fourth-round pick to Philadelphia for Nick Foles and a second-round pick. Bradford’s played seven games in the past two years. He’s had two ACL tears to the same knee. By the time this season kicks off, he will have not played in a regular-season game for 22 months. That concerns most everyone who loves the Eagles.

(Bengoodfella tapes his mouth shut about which team these types of injuries to Bradford never seemingly concerned because it's all over now and there is no need to harp on how a fan base's time and money was wasted because the head coach for the Rams knew he wasn't going to get fired simply based on the reputation the media furthers that he is an extremely good head coach)

“Oh yeah,” Johnson said. “The last conversation was over an hour, going over everything. He was loading his guns.”

But then Johnson had to tell Kelly that he couldn't actually shoot LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles to remove them off the roster, he had to waive or trade them instead. Chip Kelly silently put his loaded guns back up and started to remake the Eagles roster in the image he wanted, much to the horror of the sports media.

So you’re Chip Kelly, and you look at the quarterback landscape, and this is what you see:

The quarterback you want, Marcus Mariota, going somewhere in the top five or six picks of the 2015 draft, and you’re picking 20th, and you know it’ll obliterate two drafts to have a chance to move up to get him.

So is it known that Kelly wants Mariota or is this just someone that has been constantly repeated so much it is accepted as fact because Kelly hasn't refuted this belief enough?

Nick Foles, who had a very hot streak in 2013, but just isn’t accurate enough downfield for your taste.

Well, I'm not sure how much more Kelly is going to like Bradford then.

One interesting, but flawed, prospect: Sam Bradford, the first pick in the 2010 draft, who’d played for an offensively challenged team in St. Louis—and played but seven games in the past two seasons because he tore his left ACL in two straight seasons. Bradford was intriguing because he’d operated a fast-paced spread scheme at Oklahoma, and Kelly was playing a fast-paced spread scheme with the Eagles (though with some significant differences).

So Sam Bradford has been in the NFL for five seasons now and he'll be 28 years old in November, but he's still a "prospect." Sure, whatever truth tickles Peter King the most.

“Usually,” Bradford said from his home in Oklahoma City, “when you get to go to a new team, you’re going somewhere that’s rebuilding, or somewhere starting over. How often do you get to a team that’s won 10 games the last two years?

Yeah, but the Eagles have zero playoff wins and zero Super Bowl titles under Chip Kelly, so there is clearly something wrong with his plan two seasons into having said plan.

Bradford flies from Oklahoma to Philadelphia today to start his second act. It’s a strange situation in this way: He tore his ACL in mid-season 2013 and went into rehab led by Reggie Scott, the Rams’ trainer. After tearing the same ACL again last August in a preseason game, he went back to work with Scott to rehab it all over again. And last Tuesday, after a rehab session with Scott at the Rams’ facility in suburban St. Louis, Bradford was told by coach Jeff Fisher that he’d been traded. Bradford was in his car going home when Kelly called to welcome him to the Eagles. They’d never spoken before. Bradford didn’t have a chance—and still hasn’t had one—to thank Scott for all the work he did with him for two years.

If only there was a way to use correspondence sent over a computer or a phone line in order to get a chance to thank Scott for all the work he did for Bradford over the years. Bradford will just have to send his best carrier pigeon to get the message to Scott, but only as soon as he gets the opportunity to write the message out and put it in the pigeon's mouth. Who knows when that will be?

“I don’t think you let it bother you,” Bradford said. “The past two injuries, I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong. I just think I’ve been unlucky. It just happened.

How about the injury Bradford suffered at Oklahoma and the six games he missed in 2011? I guess that was bad luck too. By the way, the idea Bradford is a better downfield passer and more accurate than Nick Foles is great. Bradford's career completion percentage is 58.6% and he's never completed more than 60.7% of his passes in a season.

“I think I will be as good as I have ever been playing the position. And playing for Chip excites me. I love being challenged. I want to soak up all of it.’’

Soaking it up while in a hot tub rehabbing an injury of course.

It’s not a honeymoon in every precinct. Philadelphia’s doubting Kelly right now, and there’s still an outside chance he could shock the world and pick Mariota to be his guy at quarterback, should Mariota go tumbling down the draft board. But with the first game six months away, there will be plenty of time for apoplexy. Let’s enjoy one man gambling his future on a quarterback with a wounded knee.

I do agree with this though. I love how the sports media is SHOCKED and ANGERED that Chip Kelly is making such a huge mistake to count on Sam Bradford to stay healthy, yet where was this absolute SHOCK and ANGER the past few years when the Rams were counting on Sam Bradford to stay healthy for an entire season? I guess the Rams got the benefit of the doubt because they drafted Bradford, but I still find the reactions interesting. It's not like the Rams weren't counting on Bradford to be healthy in the same way Chip Kelly is relying on him, but rarely did I read criticism prior to the 2014 season of Jeff Fisher for relying on Bradford. Now Chip Kelly has traded for Bradford and his sanity is being questioned.

Twenty thoughts on the week that shook the NFL.

Only twenty thoughts? I just want to make sure we still get the ten other things that Peter thinks later in this MMQB as well. I need at least 30 of Peter King's thoughts in each MMQB.

2. But signing Darren McFadden? He’s a Dallas backfield place-holder, for just $200,000 in guarantees. The 2008 fourth overall pick could be on the team as part of a running back committee in September (I keep thinking Todd Gurley’s an ideal fit in Dallas late in round one), or he could be gone. We’ll see what the running back market dictates.

Considering the offensive line that McFadden played behind in Oakland and the lack of big money guarantees with his talent level, that's a really smart risk the Cowboys took to sign McFadden. He's always injured, but he's really talented too.

3. No question in my mind we’ll see a bunch of Michael Johnson-type contracts out of the Class of 2015 free agents. In other words, one and done. One mediocre season, and on the street a few rich men will go.

Which is why Peter's constant discussion of the early days of free agency, while dismissing the early days of free agency as not that important strikes me as so odd. He and THE MMQB seem to buy into the early days of free agency hype, while also dismissing the long-term importance of these large contracts handed out. That's how it works. The hype of free agency is written about, despite the lack of a correlation in teams that spend big in free agency and win the Super Bowl the following season.

9. One thing we know now: It’s likely that the Jets would have blown out of the water any offer for Revis. So at first blush, I thought the Patriots erred and should have spent the money the Jets did. But now it’s apparent the Jets would have just upped the ante, and Revis would have ended up in New Jersey anyway.

I think this was pretty much known at the time too, no? I remember talk that the Jets were going to do what they had to do in order to get Revis back to New York. Maybe I am misremembering.

12. So happy about this: Schneider, Chip Kelly, Mickey Loomis, Ryan Grigson, John Dorsey and Les Snead are not your father’s GMs and club architects. They trade. They take chances. That’s what made last week so fun, and so compelling.

Except who is the outlying GM on that list who is "compelling" and makes trades, but these trades haven't yet resulted in a playoff appearance? Peter won't mention that part when lauding Snead for taking chances. It's fun to take chances, but it's better when these chances actually lead to a playoff appearance.

13. Michael Johnson can’t complain about free agency. Not at all. He made $9 million in salary and bonus last year jumping from Cincinnati to Tampa to rush the passer. His production was measly: 28 pressures/hits/sacks in 648 defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. And so the Bucs, who owed him $7 million guaranteed this year, cut him anyway. The Bengals signed him Sunday, and he’ll make $6 million for Cincinnati. So one of the least productive pass-rushers in football will make $22 million in 2014 and ’15 combined. What a country.

I dislike it when Peter writes "what a country" in MMQB when discussing situations like Michael Johnson's situation. Peter writes about sports for a living and makes six or seven figures doing this. His saying "what a country" while doing a job thousands of others would love to do at his compensation level seems a bit ironic to me.

14. Jabaal Sheard’s a great signing in New England. The Patriots like big bodies who can rush the passer and are durable enough to handle run duties. At 264 pounds, Sheard’s a player who should have been a Patriot all along, and should have been picked atop the second round in 2011.

"Sheard's a player who should have been a Patriot all along." Peter gets paid six or seven figures to write things like this. What a country.

What does this statement even mean? As if every football player who can rush the passer and handle run duties needs to be a Patriot? Like no other NFL team is looking for a player like that? Other teams are like, "Nah, we're good. We don't need a player who can rush the passer and stop the run." Only the Patriots are smart enough to realize the value of these players.

15. Now that Trent Richardson has been cut loose by Indianapolis, let’s assess one of the worst draft picks in modern NFL history. Not just because Richardson has been terrible in the NFL, but think of this: Cleveland had the fourth pick in the 2012 draft. Minnesota had the third pick. To ensure that they’d get Richardson, the player they were desperate to have, the Browns moved from four to three in round one, giving Minnesota fourth, fifth and seventh-round picks to move one slot.

Yeah, but Peter's boy, Ryan Grigson then followed this up by giving up a first round draft pick for Trent Richardson. But hey, Grigson is compelling and takes chances so Peter will let him off the hook. It's nice to have a franchise quarterback to shield a GM from some criticism.

This is always a dangerous game to play,

Which means (repeat after me), Peter is going to immediately choose to play this game. It's always easy to know Peter will do something after he states that something probably shouldn't be done.

but the Browns, had they bypassed Richardson and kept the fourth pick and the picks in rounds four, five and seven, could have had linebacker Luke Kuechly, wide receiver Jairus Wright, running back Alfred Morris and either kicker Justin Tucker or linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Now, the trade of Richardson for Indy’s first-round pick in 2014 did salvage some shred of value for Richardson. Then the Browns used that pick to trade up four slots to select Johnny Manziel. Had they bypassed Manziel, Cleveland could have had a Joe Haden corner partner, Bradley Roby, in the first round, and with that pick in the third round, wideout depth in Donte Moncrief. I repeat: This is a dangerous game to play, because I don’t know who the Browns had on the draft board near those slots. But if Manziel flunks out as a Brown, the amazing thing will be that they had two chances to get the high 2012 pick right and failed at each.

Here's another fun game to play. Which player could the Colts have chosen with the 26th pick in the draft that they traded to the Browns for Trent Richardson? Yes, I know that game isn't one Peter will play because Grigson's team isn't failing like the Browns are, but again, it's nice to have Andrew Luck to cover up for mistakes and shield Grigson from some criticism.

The Colts could have drafted:

Bradley Roby
Joel Bitonio
Jordan Matthews
Jeremy Hill
Carlos Hyde
Jarvis Landry
Justin Britt
Martavis Bryant

But nah, let's keep pointing and laughing at the Browns while forgetting the Colts traded a first round pick for Richardson AFTER they knew he wasn't a very good NFL running back.

The Darrelle Revis timeline since his first go-round with the New York Jets:

Much like his obsession with Nnamdi Asomugha's free agency a few years ago, Peter seems to be a bit obsessed with Darrelle Revis and his free agency adventures over the past couple of years. I guess Peter really likes to discuss cornerbacks who are considered to be the best in the free agent class.

March 10, 2015: Rather than pay Revis $20 million in 2015, the Patriots release him. This means that, though he signed two contracts totaling $128 million, Revis actually saw $28 million of it.

Someone alert the authorities! Revis only saw $28 million of his two contracts totaling $128 million. There's a wrong been done!

In 24 months, Revis was (and is being) coached by Rex Ryan, Greg Schiano, Bill Belichick, and the coach he just met—Todd Bowles. In just over two years, he’s had six general managers: Mike Tannenbaum, John Idzik, Mark Dominik, Jason Licht, Bill Belichick (and Nick Caserio, the Patriots’ personnel czar) and Mike Maccagnan. He played in green, pewter red, red/white/blue, and green again.
So what exactly was it like?

And it's important not to forget that Revis made the decision to be coached by all of these coaches and play for five of those GM's. Otherwise, he made the decision to force a trade from the Jets, sign with the Patriots, and then sign with the Jets. Let's hold off a bit on the sympathy for his plight.

Revis: “Getting hurt, tearing my ACL, and getting prepared for the next season, trade talks and me leaving, not knowing where I’m going to play football, what my future is, and then playing in Tampa, getting traded to Tampa, and then getting released by them and trying to figure out the best place to try to win, and I felt the best place was New England. So, it’s been a crazy two or three years in my career.

Part of the reason Revis didn't know where he was playing football in a few of these instances is because he chose free agency through how his contract was set up or he requested a trade. Only a fool would really think Revis would see the back-end of a $96 million contract that is non-guaranteed or the Patriots would pay him $20 million for the 2015 season.

Three questions with founder of Over The Cap

I’ve gained a lot of respect for 39-year-old engineer (that’s his real job) Jason Fitzgerald and his site, Over The Cap, which catalogs NFL contracts and how teams are doing managing their salary caps.

The MMQB: You wrote Thursday that the Ndamukong Suh contract in Miami is particularly onerous. What concerns you in the future about that deal for the Dolphins, and how will they handle it?

Fitzgerald: In order to fit Suh within their cap easily this season, the Dolphins opted for a structure that will see Suh count for only $6 million against the cap, despite the annual contract value of $19.1 million. That leaves Suh with an average cap charge for the 2016-2018 seasons of $21.9 million. Quite honestly I am not sure how you compete in the NFL for a championship with those figures, especially for a defensive tackle.

It’s a situation where a team or a person gets it in their mind that they need a player to make an impact on an organization, and they lose sight of what they may be giving up to get that.

This is otherwise known as "what happens during free agency in almost every major sport."

“It’s home. It’s family. As much as my wife and kids are family, so is the Rooney family and my team and coaches.”

—Ben Roethlisberger, on signing a five-year, $99 million extension with the Steelers on Saturday.

The fact the Steelers were giving Roethlisberger approximately $50 million of this $99 million guaranteed didn't hurt his feelings of family towards the Rooney family and the Steelers organization either. Money is a great way to make someone feel like a part of the family.

“That was a big thing with him. It is with most quarterbacks. He didn’t look anybody off. He’s a competitor, though. He threw three interceptions in this game, and he just kept throwing. He wasn’t scared of us.”

—University of Louisville cornerback Gerod Holliman on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, to Robert Klemko of The MMQB. Holliman led the nation with 14 interceptions in 2014, including two off Winston.

This is compared to other college quarterbacks who aren't required to look off a safety because the offensive scheme is designed for him to simply have one read and then throw to the open man. I know this isn't criticism necessarily from Holliman, but the rare college quarterback is able to look off a safety and get the ball to another open guy on a consistent basis.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

I didn’t travel in the past seven days. But I did get a good Stories of New York tale from my old boss at “Inside the NFL” on HBO, Brian Hyland, from a Manhattan scene he experienced Saturday. Sharing it:

“Subway elevator this morning. Little old man in a wheelchair, wearing a Yankee hat and a heavy coat for the cold rain. He has a helper but it ain’t easy getting through the door onto the street. I help push him through onto Fort Washington Avenue. As I maneuver to help, he helps me. We’re squeezing him through the heavy green door and as he reaches to push, the sleeve of his coat on his arm moves up towards his elbow. And there I see it. In fading black ink. Covered with arm hair but clear. The number the Nazis gave him. Part of him. Forever on his arm.

“We get him through the door, he says, ‘Thanks, young man’ and his helper pushes him down Fort Washington Avenue. Another random Saturday morning in New York City that takes your breath away.”

This is a pet peeve of mine. "Another random Saturday morning in New York City that takes your breath away." As if there are no Holocaust survivors in any other part of the United States. No other interesting and great moments happen in other United States cities. ONLY IN NEW YORK CITY does this type of thing happen. We all know that New York City is so fucking special because those people who live there won't stop telling us about how special the city is. Great, good for you. Everything you think is special to New York City isn't necessarily exclusive to that city. It's just other citizens of other cities don't take the time to tell you how special their city is. 

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think, after speaking to someone who was a part of the competition committee’s deliberations over the past two weeks,

Gee, I wonder who this "someone" is? Peter has talked to Jeff Fisher 2-3 times in MMQB about the competition committee and his feelings on any rule changes regarding what constitutes a catch. If the "someone" Peter is talking about here agrees with Jeff Fisher, (a) why the secretiveness? and/or (b) what are the odds this "someone" is actually Jeff Fisher? 

I would be surprised if anything significant was changed on what constitutes a catch when the league meetings begin next Sunday in Phoenix. There could be a minor tweak to the rule, but the feeling I get regarding the tenor in the room over the past couple of weeks is this: Committee members feel receivers need to maintain control when going to the ground.

So basically Peter is reporting the same thing that Jeff Fisher, the head of the competition committee, has been saying for most of the offseason? This is news, but who is this "someone" that Peter is talking to about what constitutes a catch if this "someone" isn't the same person that Peter has been talking to all offseason about what constitutes a catch? I find it odd that Peter uses the term "someone" here when the opinion held agrees with the head of the competition committee's opinion. If this committee member isn't Jeff Fisher, why is he concerned his name will be tied to an opinion that Jeff Fisher has repeatedly states he agrees with?

2. I think this is what I thought after the esteemed Charley Casserly said on NFL Network following Marcus Mariota’s Pro Day: “Not a sure thing. If you’re going to take him, you’ve got to hold your breath.” What if Mariota—and this is a huge “what if” because of all the teams that need quarterbacks in the draft this year—starts to tumble down the draft board in round one? What if Washington passes on him at 5, and the Jets have some cold feet at 6, and GM Les Snead of the Rams loves Nick Foles and sees bigger needs at 10, and the Browns at 12 and the Texans at 16 and the Browns again at 19 all have cold feet for one reason or another? All of those things are incredibly unlikely, but what if? What if Mariota is staring Sam Bradford-loving Chip Kelly in the face at 20, or if Kelly sees Mariota tumbling at 12, 13, 14, and he thinks he’s just got to go for the gusto now? That would be one of the best stories in recent draft history, Kelly getting Mariota.

Stop rosterbating, Peter. I like how he is openly cheering for a storyline that will allow him to write easy stories and reinforces the perception he is trying to give in MMQB. What makes Mariota going to Kelly's Eagles a better story than any other college coach drafting or having a chance to draft his old college quarterback? Other than the media has forced the whole "Kelly wants Mariota" perception down the throats of the public, even though at this point there isn't much reality behind this perception, of course.

3. I think, drifting back to reality, I absolutely do not believe it’s going to happen. But it’s not an impossible dream. Just an unlikely one.

Okay, first, this thought #3 should be up with thought #2 since it is a continuation of thought #2. Second, it's the impossible dream for a sportswriter who wants easy stories to write and confirmation of a perception to be reinforced. There's nothing like reading about the media openly cheering for certain storylines to develop.

4. I think Trent Richardson goes down in NFL history as one of the strangest stories. Ever.

Why is "ever" a separate sentence? It fits into the sentence. Easily.

5. I think this is the best way to put the biggest deal of the weekend in perspective: Ben Roethlisberger will be only be 37 at the end of his 16th season as Steeler quarterback in 2019—if he lasts that long, of course—and that’s an age when quarterbacks are still having peak seasons. Today, with quarterbacks doing so much in the offseason to stay healthy and make their careers last, I really like what the Steelers did.

That does put the Roethlisberger contract in perspective for me. My perspective is altered by knowing quarterbacks who are older can still serve a purpose to their team, but mostly altered by my newfound knowledge that Peter liked what the Steelers did in extending Roethlisberger.

They told the world that Roethlisberger is their quarterback for life.

Well except for the fact, as Peter just noted, this is an age when quarterbacks are still having peak seasons when Roethlisberger's contract runs out. So he is the Steelers' quarterback for life, except for the part where Peter thinks Roethlisberger will be playing at a high level and his contract will have run out.

9. I think the Jets must not have liked their roster very much. They signed, re-signed or traded for 11 players in the first three days of the 2015 league year.

What was to like about the roster? The Jets have a new GM and new head coach. Changes happen when new head coaches and GM's are hired. Of course, as we learned with Chip Kelly turning over the Eagles roster, many personnel changes are only allowable when discussing unsuccessful NFL teams.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. If I had one wish for ESPN (well, this wouldn’t be the one, I guess, but it would be in the top 10), I would wish its anchors would stop saying Team X “punched their ticket” for the NCAA tournament. First: Team X would have “punched its ticket.” Second: Well, it’s a brutal cliché.

What a country.

b. I live in New York. I can’t name one active Knick.

You admit to not watching the NBA. The fact you can't name one active Knick probably speaks to your distaste for the NBA as much as it speaks to the anonymity of the Knicks players. I do like how Peter is viewing the Knicks relevance through the lens of how much he knows about the team. This is something sportswriters love to do. They don't watch or enjoy a sport/team, so obviously that sport/team isn't relevant anymore. Why wouldn't Peter's worldview speak to the relevance of a sport or team?

c. Knicks versus Lakers on Thursday night. Looked at the box score Friday morning. Never heard of any of the 10 starters in the game.

Again, you don't really watch college basketball or the NBA.

f. A few random college basketball observations:

Wish you wouldn't. Do this. Ever.

i. What a weekend for Notre Dame, beating Duke and North Carolina on back-to-back days in the state of North Carolina.

It was in North Carolina, but it helps the Duke fans in the crowd were cheering for Notre Dame and the UNC fans in the crowd were cheering for Notre Dame. The game being played in North Carolina is an advantage until the fans of one North Carolina-based team choose to cheer against another North Carolina-based team. It's not always an advantage to play in North Carolina in certain situations. After being defeated by Notre Dame, Duke fans in attendance were openly cheering for Notre Dame against UNC.

k. Four conferences played their tourneys in Vegas? What a country.

Stop writing "what a country."

n. This Cuban baseball player stuff is really crazy. Crazier than NFL free-agent money. Boston paid $133 million to sign Rusney Castillo and 19-year-old Yoan Moncada, with limited scouting opportunities of them. It’s got to be sports’ version of Russian Roulette.

All of a sudden when the Red Sox start signing Cuban players Peter starts to notice how crazy it is that MLB teams sign these Cuban players without knowing a ton about them. Hey Peter, MLB teams have been signing players from overseas, while having limited opportunities to scout these players, for over a decade now. I know! It's amazing this didn't start when the Red Sox started spending money on Cuban players.

The Adieu Haiku

I like lots of trades.  
The NFL’s not like that.
Kudos, Chip Kelly.

Chip Kelly can make all kinds of trades without having to ask anyone's permission. What a country. 


Chris said...

Generally most people also aren't so full of themselves that they feel the need to brag to everyone about helping a holocaust survivor.

Also I'm so glad Peter included that little story in the Travel note of the week when that story had absolutely nothing at all to do with Travel. I understand that he prefaced the story by saying he didn't have a Travel story but you would think Peter would then edit out the Travel part of that headline. But that would require him to actually edit his work and I'm sure Peter his writing is so good it requires absolutely no editing whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

"A little history here: When Jimmy Johnson took over the Cowboys a quarter-century ago, he was Chip Kelly."

A little history here: When Jimmy Johnson took over the Cowboys a quarter-century ago, he absolutely was not Chip Kelly. Jimmy Johnson inherited a roster completely bereft of talent. Chip Kelly took over a 4-12 team, but it wasn't a bad roster. Over the past two offseasons, Kelly has let go of DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy, and what he has to show for it is Sam Bradford and Kiko Alonso. Jimmy Johnson famously traded Herschel Walker for a bushel of draft picks. He also drafted Emmitt Smith, not Marcus Smith. So don't fucking tell me that Chip Kelly is beyond reproach because "he's the modern day Jimmy Johnson." He's not. Jimmy Johnson had a rhyme and reason to his moves. Chip Kelly seemingly tosses darts at a board and thinks his genius will make up for it.

Rams QBs last year: 20 TD, 16 INTs, 7.2 yards per attempt, 63% completion percentage, 84.9 rating.
Sam Bradford, career: 59 TDs, 38 INTs, 6.3 yards per attempt (!?), 59% completion percentage, 79.3 rating.

Maybe the reason the Rams have been offensively-challenged is because their QB prior to this season was incapable of pushing the ball down the field. Austin Davis and Shaun Hill, not exactly mad-bombers, averaged a full yard per attempt more than Bradford for his career. They also completed a higher percentage of their passes, meaning they were more efficient and more productive.

The point is, Sam Bradford sucks.