Tag:Adrian Peterson
Posted on: February 20, 2012 4:24 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 6:03 pm

Rice might not want to mention Peterson

Memo to Ray Rice: Don't use the name of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's name in your contract talks.

All the Baltimore Ravens need to do is point to Peterson as a reason why Rice, the team's star runner, shouldn't get a huge contract, much like the one Peterson signed last year and much like the one he reportedly wants.

Peterson, you see, is coming off a major knee injury. While medicine and Peterson's drive will help him overcome what was once a career-shortening injury, there's no saying for certain he will be the same player.

Vikings fans hope he will be.

Football fans, in general, should too.

But there are no guarantees with backs with major knee injuries. That's why it's so risky to pay free-agent backs long-term deals.

Rice is still young at 25 and the Ravens would be wise to lock him up to a long-term deal, but only if it's the right price. They can't go nuts. Backs just aren't worth it -- even great ones.

The Giants just won a Super Bowl with the 32nd-ranked running game in the NFL. Need more proof?

Peterson signed a seven-year, $100-million contract last September with $40 million in the first three years.

Whether he lives up that deal is uncertain now. He's young enough that he can bounce back, but the question we don't have the answer to is whether he will be the same.

Running backs are being phased out of the offenses. Teams are using two more than ever. They're also throwing it more.

So again I say this to Ray Rice: Don't mention Peterson, or Chris Johnson for that matter, in your contract talks.

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 26, 2011 10:54 am

Monday Musings: Concussion lawsuits overboard

The flurry of lawsuits being filed by former NFL players is strange. I know some players will have problems with post-career medical issues, but here's a question that I have to ask: Didn't they know what they signed up for when they signed that contract? The NFL is a violent game. Period.

Nobody forces players to play. They get compensated to do a job.

Getting hit hard is part of the game. Injuries are part of the game. Concussions are part of the game.

Has the NFL always acted in the players' best interests when it came to injuries? They probably didn't. But how much is on the player himself -- pushing to stay on the field, fearful of losing a job or a check.

I think the NFL's decision to make the game safer now is the right thing to do. Why not be more cautious? But I also don't think that it gives the former players a right to file lawsuits.

For starters: How do we know the concussion issues didn't start in Pop Warner or on the high-school level or at college. Is every former Pop Warner player going to sue his former association? Can I file suit against my high school or my former coach?

The lawsuits allege the league didn't do enough to protect the players from concussions.  These lawsuits will be played out for the next couple of years as players try to prove that they NFL did them wrong.

What's next? Will we see firemen suing their company for being burned in a fire? Or a writer filing suit against his employer because his eyes go bad from being on a computer all day?

It's part of the job. You are compensated to do a job.

Nobody forces NFL players to play. I ask this question: Would any of the players who are parts of those suits trade it all back to not have played the game?

Bet they'd all say no.

I'm all for player safety. And I love the way the NFL has changed the rules to make that possible.

But these lawsuits are over-the-top in my eyes.

Here's what the NFL should do moving forward: Make players sign liability waivers. If you don't sign, you don't play.

Want to bet every player signs?

The rewards are worth the risks. That's why they put their bodies on the line each and every Sunday.

It’s a nasty game. It's a violent game. It's a dangerous game.

But it's also a game you play voluntarily.

---The past two weeks are why Denver Broncos president John Elway won't commit to Tim Tebow long term as his starter. Why would he? Elway knows that the NFL is a passing league now more than ever. Tebow can't pass.

Not in the way you need quarterbacks to pass. That was exposed in a big way against the Bills this week. He threw four interceptions, two were returned for touchdowns, and he looked downright horrible. Tebow can complete the 15-yard slant off the option fake, but when it comes to putting his foot in the ground, reading the field, making the right, accurate throw, he struggles with that.

Tebow holds the ball and he doesn't appear to have a grasp on reading coverages. What the Broncos have done with him this season is just short of a miracle. If they win Sunday against the Chiefs, they will be in the playoffs. Tebow Nation will rejoice. 

But the reality is that it's nothing more than an aberration season, like Kerry Collins going 13-3 for the Titans or David Garrard going 11-5 for the Jaguars. These happen once in a while. But the success isn’t sustainable. Elway knows this. That's why he said Tebow would be back last week, but never said he would be his starter. How could he make the commitment now, especially after seeing Tebow floundering against the Bills Sunday?

This isn't piling on a kid after a bad game, either. It's how I've felt all along since watching his college tapes. Others thought the same, but gave in during his six-game winning streak, but I see too many flaws in his passing to do that. 

---That Tom Coiughlin-Rex Ryan handshake sure was a quick one. I've known Coughlin for a long time, and the one thing he hates is people who talk a lot. Ryan talked a lot leading up to the Giants-Jets game Saturday. Ryan talks the talk, but his teams don't back him up. 

---Why did the Jets throw 59 passes against the Giants? Aren't they the ground-and-pound team? Mark Sanchez isn't good enough to win throwing 59 passes. 

That's why I think Brian Schottenheimer is an overrated coordinator. There is some talk that he could be in trouble.

---Want an underrated coordinator? Look at Carolina's Rob Chudzinski. He has worked wonders with the Carolina offense.  He needs to be a head coach. His work with Cam Newton and the Panthers offense has been impressive.

---The blowout at Detroit will surely cost Norv Turner his job. But I don’t believe the talk of Bill Cowher going there. I think he stays in television.

----Rumor of the week: Jeff Fisher to the Rams if Steve Spagnuolo gets it. I also think Fisher will be in play in San Diego and Jacksonville. 

---Can the Bucs justify keeping Raheem Morris as coach? That's nearly impossible, especially after a season with high expectations and a fleeing fan base. The Bucs have lost nine consecutive games and have done so without competing in a lot of them.

---The first pick in the NFL Draft will go to either the Colts or Rams. Since the Rams have Sam Bradford, they wouldn't take Andrew Luck. But they could be in a position to deal down and add a ton of picks. The Browns, who have two first-round picks, would be wise to keep the Rams on speed dial if that Rams do end up wit the top pick.

---It's always sad to see a star running back tear up a knee. We never know if they will be the same again. That's what I thought as I saw Adrian Peterson's injury as it happened Saturday. It also backs why backs need to cash in when they can and also why teams have to be hesitant to do so. 

---San Francisco's David Akers set an NFL record with his 42nd field goal of the season. Is that a good thing? That means the 49ers are limited offensively. That could be their undoing in the playoffs.

---The Texans miss Wade Phillips. You can see it in the way they played the past two weeks without him on the sideline. Reggie Herring isn't in the same class with Phillips when it comes to calling defenses. The Texans need him back on the sidelines.

---Kudos to the Packers re-built offensive line Sunday night against the Bears. Without both starting tackles, Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga, they held the Bears without a sack. Left guard T.J. Lang moved to right tackle and did a great job on Israel Idonije. Bulaga is expected back for the playoffs, but Clifton is having some back issues and his return is questionable.

Posted on: September 10, 2011 4:55 pm

More of the trend: Pay your own

Taking care of your own.

That's the NFL way now. We had so many veterans signing one-year deals to change teams this summer, while other players got big long-term deals from their own teams, showing that is more and more the preferred trend.

Look at all the big deals that teams ahve given their own players in the past month-and-half. The most recent came Saturday with the news that both Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu agreed to new deals with their respective teams.

The Carolina Panthers have locked up almost all their key young players in the past two months, which is now the way to go. Did they overpay for some? You bet. But they know what they got. They can grow them together.

As for Peterson and Polamalu, both come with risks. Peterson is a back. We know how quickly they fade. Polamalu can't stay on the field.

But their teams know what to expect from them.

As one general manager told me this summer. "There were a lot of guys thinking they would get rich, but they had to settle for one-year deals because teams are keeping their own guys. And if they think it's going to change next year, they better think again."

If you're wondering why this is even more of the wave, take a look at the two Super Bowl teams from 2010.

The Steelers and Packers had rosters loaded with their home-grown players. It's the right way to win.

Take care of your own.  Don't let them out the door.

Remember this motto: One man's trash is usually your trash. There's a reason they let them leave. 

Category: NFL
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