Tag:The Daily Shoutout
Posted on: August 1, 2011 7:37 am

The Daily Shoutout

OPENING HIT: The New York Jets continue to be among the most aggressive teams in football. They just signed free agent cornerbackl Antonio Cromartie to a $32 million deal, a league source confirmed. Good signing. This comes just hors after the team signed Plaxico Burress. How the Jets signed Burress is one of the most interesting stories of this year's free agency.

The Jets' signing of Burress actually begins in 2009 after the incident in the nightclub where Burress shot himself in the foot. Burress obviously had numerous legal problems still the Jets met with Burress. It made an impression on Burress that lasted until this day. For all of Burress' faults, he's incredibly loyal, and when people pay back that loyalty, it means a great deal to him, and though money rules all in free agency, Burress never forgot that the Jets met with him at his lowest point.

Burress also never forgot something else. Numerous players, including players from the Giants, Burress' old team, visited him in prison. One player that did not was Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Burress never forgot that, either.

Eagles: The league remains stunned at everything the Philadelphia Eagles are doing in free agency but there is also head shaking (or jealousy) at how they're affording all the players. Just remember this. The Eagles have some of the smartest front office people in football. Maybe the smartest. Joe Banner, who runs the Eagles, doesn't get his due as one of the NFL's big brains. But he is.

The issue remains are the Eagles mortgaging the future? The Eagles are the one team I'd bet that would find a way to make their moves without doing so. The Redskins? Yes, they'd mortgage the future. They have many times. The Eagles are responsible and sensible. Their busy free agency period may also make them champions.

LAST WORD: The crazy free agency period is officially over. The big signings are done. Now all teams are doing is fine tuning. But, again, the craziest offseason in NFL history is basically done. Was it good for you?

See you Tuesday.
Category: NFL
Posted on: July 29, 2011 8:28 am

The Daily Shoutout

Chad Ochocinco: I'm told that Ochocinco has agreed to tone down his act. He's told this to the Patriots, a league official said. Now, this shouldn't come as a total shock (though I wouldn't be surprised if Ochocinco said publicly he wasn't going to change). Just don't see Ochocinco pulling out a fake wedding ring and asking a cheerleader to marry him on a Bill Belichick coached team. Or jumping into the stands in the Dog Pound.Or Riverdance. Or whatever.

Again, obvious, but would it shock anyone if Ochocinco at least tried to push things a little bit? The Patriots are an emotional team -- we've seen Tom Brady screaming at opposing sidelines -- but they're not a showboating team and Chad put the 'S' in showboating. So this will be interesting.

THE NMANDI ASOMUGHA BACKLASH HAS BEGUN: This could be completely sour grapes but several teams are now spreading -- well, disinformation -- about Asomugha saying his off the field desires might interfere with what happens on the field. Namely how Asomugha wants to be an actor. Sure. Whatever. If Asomugha wants to perform Little Red Riding Hood off Broadway who cares. Have these doubters seen him play? He's practically unbeatable. Maybe he can star on "Law and Order" as a crime stopping shut down corner.

THE Jets: No question they are still, as I reported months ago, seriously considering signing Randy Moss. Meaning Moss will have one more opportunity to destroy a team from within.

See you Monday.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 28, 2011 6:24 am

The Daily Shoutout

THE Reggie Bush ERA: It's unfair to call Reggie Bush's career in New Orleans a failure. Indeed, Bush has suffered from the curse of extremely high expectations but too bad. As Foxsports.com has reported the Saints have worked out a deal to trade Bush to Miami and while not a failure in New Orleans (and there's still a slim chance he stays with the Saints if the Dolphins can't work out a contract with Bush) he didn't live up to that top pick billing. Not even close.

Bush was soft. We didn't know that when he was at USC. But he was. A runner incapable of traversing the middle of the field isn't of consistently great value to an offense. Sure, defenses had to account for Bush when he was on the field, but mostly for special teams. He good there but Bush wasn't drafted solely for kick returns. He was supposed to be a great all-around weapon. He wasn't even close to that.

In the end, Bush will be known more for the starlets and models he dated than anything he did on the field.

The Dolphins will see this if the trade for Bush is actuated. They had better have a second option at running back because Bush A) can't carry the load and B) he gets hurt and C) can't carry the load.

See you Friday.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 21, 2011 6:23 am
Edited on: July 21, 2011 10:26 am

The Daily Shoutout

A GAME OF CHICKEN: First came the news that players Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson were still seeking compensation for their roles as plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the NFL. Ten freaking mil worth of compensation. Nice work if you can get it. The new CBA between the owners and players can't be signed until all plaintiffs sign off. Then came a report from Sports Illustrated saying players were putting worker's compensation issues back into play. After that, a player I greatly respect, Chester Pitts, said in a radio interview it could take another two weeks to get the CBA done.

Meanwhile, owners, in an effort to put public pressure on the players, might vote to ratify the CBA today.

A splendid game of chicken, yes. The two sides are trying to resolve small issues but the players, for now, are playing the biggest games. They are sending a last minute message to the owners: in these final days, we're not rolling over.

This will get done, maybe on Thursday. Maybe. And probably by the end of the week. But all of these last minute moves are interesting, to say the least, and demonstrate that as well as talks have gone there is still a great deal of bad blood. Even after a deal is done, it might stay that way.
Category: NFL
Posted on: July 15, 2011 7:47 am

The Daily Shoutout

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? There was a conference call on Wednesday with key members of the NFLPA and the mood was dire. Some players walked away from the call thinking not only was a deal not close, some felt the talks were perilously close to ending. Things were tense and there was genuine worry about the loss of the preseason.

Then, something happened. It was amazing. It turned everything around but most importantly it forced the owners to make serious concessions, first, on the rookie wage scale, and then later on other issues. Again, amazing.

The question is: what was that thing? What caused the owners to make such grand concessions? I'm told the owners didn't conceede out of the goodness of their hearts. I'm told the players made a threat that scared the hell out of the owners (and I don't think it was court related). But no one will tell me what the threat was.

It had to be big and it had to be significant because the speed at which the owners softened was faster than the top speed of the starship Enterprise. It was an amazing turnaround and, again, I don't think the owners made the concession as part of the normal negotiating process. They made it because the players said or did something that made them extremely nervous.

So here we are. On Wednesday, things weren't looking so good. Now, the deal is closer than it has ever been, and will likely get done by early next week, if not sooner. Unreal.

See you Monday.
Category: NFL
Posted on: July 14, 2011 7:06 am

The Daily Shoutout

THE POLITICS OF CLOSENESS: Several texts from players last night said in no uncertain terms what they've said for weeks regarding a new CBA deal. It was close, extremely close, but not as close as many think, which directly contradicted someone who would know. Then a text came in from a high ranking management source who said a deal was almost done and a handshake agreement could come late this week. What to make of the two similar yet different takes on the same freaking negotiation? It's the Politics of Closeness.

Again, it is close, but both sides have their reasons for why close is in the eye of the closer. The players continue to want to keep expectations low so as not to think the owners have the players in their pocket. The owners want to keep the expectations high among the players and public thinking this in turn puts pressure on the negotiating team for the players. If players and fans think a deal is close, the players might cave on some of the few issues remaining.

It's a game and there's no question it's a frustrating game. It's the kind of playing with fan emotion that makes fans want to tear up their season tickets and hair.

Bottom line remains this will get done though I remain less certain we will keep the entire preseason intact (I might have more on that later).

See you Friday.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 13, 2011 7:46 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 8:12 am

The Daily Shoutout

PRESEASON DISRUPTION: There is going to be some but the question remains how much? The NFL, I'm told, is beginning to slowly and stubbornly realize that playing the Hall of Fame game might not only be difficult but also potentially dangerous to the players. That doesn't mean the game won't be played, it just means the league is privately considering not playing it.

In actuality it would be foolish to play it on such short notice but hell, money talks, bull---- walks. Or however that saying goes. The game brings in revenue and league officials want to use the game as a showcase in welcoming back fans.

But boy would it be stupid to play. If I were a Bears or Rams player, I'd boycott it. No offseason work. No contact in many months. No pads in many months. Probably a shortened training camp. The Hall of Fame game is a severe muscle pull or blown knee waiting to happen. It would just be incredibly stupid to play it. Really, really stupid.

See you Thursday.
Category: NFL
Posted on: July 12, 2011 6:54 am
Edited on: July 12, 2011 7:16 am

The Daily Shoutout

FORGIVE AND FORGET? The lockout is almost over. You can smell it. Smells like victory. Which brings us to a question: will fans automatically come back? Will they forgive the owners and players for holding their sport hostage for months?

During the lockout numerous fans expressed considerable and understandable anger. They vowed to make the NFL pay for its arrogance. Well, that time is almost here, and I get the feeling fans will run back to their addiction, no questions asked, once the football needle is available again. The minute football is back all the trash talking fans who said they'd hold off on buying their team's merchandise or tickets or would boycott a televised game will return to the sport as fast as possible. They'll start tearing through their fantasy football stats like Ellen Ripley through a pack of slimy aliens. Because that's what addicts do.

Football has us by the gonads and Hoo Ha. And the NFL knows it does which is why they have lockouts and strikes in the first place. They know we'll get angry, throw our tantrums, rip out our hair, but in the end, we'll come back. Because that's what addicts do.

So to all of you, many hundreds, if not thousands, who emailed me claiming that when football came back, you'd boycott, well, you're going to get your chance soon. But you're not going to boycott anything, are you? Because you're a football addict and you have to watch.

And you will.

TALKS RESUME: Commissioner Roger Goodell, owners and playars will resume talks on Wednesday, I've confirmed with multiple sources. We're still on track for a handshake agreement soon though remember the phrase cautious optimism.

See you Wednesday.
Category: NFL
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