Tag:Free Agent
Posted on: March 3, 2009 4:35 pm

King Cassel?

So I'm seeing headlines like "The Matt Cassel Era" and all sorts of praise for him, and I honestly wonder why.  He was undrafted out of USC (which I realize means very little) where he never started a game (which should make you think).  He's been a career backup until this last season where he filled in for Tom Brady.  He played well, and should be given credit for that. 

However, what doesn't cease to amaze me is how all of a sudden he's the greatest thing since sliced bread.  His numbers last season were good for someone in his position, but at best just above average overall.  I'm always wary about one-hit wonders, especially QB's (see David Garrard, Derek Anderson).  You could (and should) ask yourself: self, was he a product of an excellent offensive system? was he a product of the easiest schedule in the NFL?  I remember when everyone was crying for Cassel to make the Pro Bowl after throwing for 400 yards and 3 TD's in 2 straight games against sub-par teams.  Then Pittsburgh happened.  The Steelers routed the Patriots for their worst loss in years, and what's more, Cassel threw 2 INT's and coughed up 2 fumbles.  Yes, I realize the Steelers defense was one of the best in recent years, but look at what Kurt Warner did in SBXLIII (and before you go off on your Larry Fitzgerald speach, I say to you: "Randy Moss"). 

What is happening to Cassel in the free-agent market (yes, he was traded, but for the purposes of this time frame, it is irrelevant) is very similar to Matt Schaub a few years back.  He was supposed to be the next Steve Young, playing behind then-unsuspended Michael Vick.  The Texans nab him, and, when healthy, he's solid and nothing more.

So I guess overall, to quote Denny Green "If you want to crown [him], then crown [his]"--I'll stop there...  I, however, want to see far more proof that he is who you think he is before I decide.  And don't think I'm hating on Cassel, I want him to succeed as much as any other fan of the game.  I just am stubborn and want to be convinced by more evidence.

Posted on: February 6, 2009 10:50 am

Is Talent Worth the Risk?

One of the biggest headlines this offseason will surely be whether Michael Vick will be allowed to return to the NFL, and if so, where will he go.  Now I'm well aware that this is not a novel revelation; I'm sure you've heard every sports writer in the world at least mention this, and I'm going to do the same.

For the sake of writing something interesting, I am going to assume that Roger Goodell allows Vick to play in the NFL.  If not, well, then you can stop reading here. 

So Vick comes back into the NFL, and I think it's safe to say the Falcons will let him go.  He caused that franchise so much agony, I'd be surprised if they even let him within 100 miles of the team.  Besides, Matt Ryan played well enough that there shouldn't be any questions about who is playing QB for them next season.  I would also imagine Vick will be released rather than traded, due to his large contract and the fact that the Falcons probably won't get anything worth while for him.

With Vick now a free agent, I'd imagine the prospects are pretty slim.  I had  always thought that if he were going to make a comeback, it would be with the Raiders, but if Al Davis thinks JaMarcus Russell is the man (but honestly, who knows what Davis thinks these days) he won't end up in Oakland.  I'm sure Vick's highlight-reel-appeal would make Jerry Jones' eyes glimmer, but he has Tony Romo, and I think he learned his lesson with the Adam "Pacman" Jones fiasco (I will call him Pacman until he proves that the name no longer applies).

Now that the two teams that seem to gravitate towards star-potential over character are eliminated, the pickings look slim.  Vick will be 29 at the start of the season, who knows how in-shape he will be, and frankly, a QB of his playing style will need to develop as a pocket passer once he starts to lose his speed (see Randall Cunningham).  And honestly, of the teams that would be in the market for a QB (a few are Kansas City, San Francisco, and Detroit), do you really see them taking (Con)Vick? The man whose negative publicity shamed the NFL for months?  I can't imagine most teams would be willing to sacrifice their PR for the gamble that starting Vick would be.  I mean, not to dwell on the past, but weren't we harshly ciritcizing his QB play before this whole incident?

This pretty much leaves Vick as a desparation sign, or a backup.  But can you really justify signing the former NFL's Richest Man as a backup?  Especially after the aforementioned issues?  I just don't see it happening.  To me, Vick is something Pacman should be--untouchable.  Even if this is the only blip on his resumeé (and it's a big one), no team should have to explain to their fans why Mr. I-Drown-Cute-Little-Puppies is the leader of their franchise.

Sorry Mike, but I think you're done...

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