Cam Newton: It's very possible the Carolina Panthers are pulling one of the great magical smokescreens of all time. It's possible they've managed to do something few teams picking first in the draft have ever done which is keep their true intentions a secret. But all signs still point to the Panthers taking Newton--though I'm not as confident as I was only a week or so ago.
One geneneral manager estimated the chances of the Panthers taking Newton at 75 to 80 percent. That same general manager a month ago estimated the chances at 90 percent so I'm not the only one wondering if the Panthers are holdin' em and foldin' em. Or however that damn song goes.
BE HONEST: Other than the drama of where Newton is picked this draft is kind of boring.
TRADES: There's lots of talk about various teams trading up and down but in the end very few teams will. I'm told by several scouts that the collective bargaining situation has made so many teams extremely nervous basically the entire league is afraid to do almost anything including trading. I expect few.
UGLY: Lastly, is there a possibility the owners and players sit down and talk before the lockout case is appealed to the 8th Circuit? Um, well, no . Both sides are in unison in at least one way. They want to exhaust all legal options before talking again. Plus, this fight has gotten extremely bitter. The bitterness has reached all-time levels, approaching -- quickly -- the bitterness levels of the strike years in the 1980s.
See you Thursday.