Good morning, New York Giants fans! Lockout or no NFL Lockout, yours truly is in a good mood this morning. Wednesday evening made four days in a row I have managed to get to the golf course so, football or no football, life is good. Anyway, you showed up today looking for football talk, not a dissection of my golf game. So, let's get to it.
Well, I suppose we should start with your morning dose of NFL Lockout 2011 disappointment. Albert Breer of NFL Network did not have much good news to report Wednesday night as negotations broke up.
Just wake me up when it's over. In the meantime, maybe I'll just keep heading back to the golf course.
When the NFL owners and NFLPA can agree on new CBA, triggering the open of free agency, there will be a lot of "name" backs available, depending the free-agent formula.
Here's what I say to that: Big deal.
That's for two reasons. One is the devaluing of the running back. This is a passing league now, which means the running back isn't as valuable a position as it once was. Proof comes from taking a scan at the top five backs in the NFL. They are arguably Peterson, Tennessee's Chris Johnson, Houston's Arian Foster, Kansas City's Jamaal Charles and Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Those five didn't win a playoff game between them last season, and only Charles played in one.
You can't be run-centric anymore.
The second reason it's not worth paying backs big money is that you can always find young ones. Look at Foster. He wasn't even drafted, but led the NFL in rushing last season, his second in the league.
I find this very interesting. I have been tempted recently to write that, if Bradshaw slips away from the Giants, they had better chase DeAngelo Williams. In reality, that's probably the last thing they should do. My feeling about the running game is generally this -- if you can block, you can run successfully. Build a great line, you can run the ball with a mediocre back. The opposite is not really true -- great backs can't consistently overcome poor blocking.
The Giants should do everything they can to re-sign Bradshaw. Fumbling issues or not, he is a terrific back who is still young. If they somehow lose him, they need to be careful before overpaying for a big-name replacement.
With a truncated run-up time to the start of the season - even if the league year begins on July 28, the target date suggested Monday by ESPN, for the beginning of the veteran free agency period - there will be some perception of chaos as clubs feverishly scramble to configure their training camp rosters. And so, might some unrestricted free agents eschew higher contract offers to return to their incumbent teams, where they know the ropes already, and they won't be confronted by the demands of a restricted breaking-in period?
As ludicrous as it sounds - let's face it, for most players, money talks louder than any other component of a contract conversation - stability might actually trump salary in a few cases.
With the emphasis on "a few."
"There's always going to be some reluctance to change teams," said one prominent agent, who has three veterans who figure to be among the top 40 unrestricted free agents when the signing moratorium is lifted. "It's the old 'dance with the one who brought you' mentality. But money is usually the biggest factor in the decisions about where to sign. And, who's kidding, it probably will be again this year. But guys who switch teams are going to have to realize they don't have a three- or four-month offseason (acclimation) time like they normally would. There's going to be some awkwardness."
"With the Giants first and foremost they gave me the opportunity to come back, get healthy, get to where I am now," Bulluck said. "If they wanted me back I definitely would love to get that opportunity because I know the guys in the locker room, great locker room, great coaching staff, it's a great organization. Just from being there that one year I know they take a lot of pride in the football they play there and they're about winning."
Give Bulluck credit for being a classy guy. He wants more snaps, and probably is still a good enough player to deserve them. The way the Giants play defense, though, he won't get them in New York. He knows that, yet still has good things to say about the organization.
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Washington reportedly wants to sign free agent DT Barry Cofield, one of the St. Louis Rams' free agent targets. Can the Rams beat Washington in a bidding war?
Robinson said Monday that he might give the NFL a shot during the NBA lockout, and I think he probably could pull it off.
If I were a team that needed a corner, I’d sure as hell give Robinson a call. His NBA salary probably is a heck of a lot more than an NFL team would be willing to pay him. I don’t know if anybody would be willing to give him more than a minimum contract, and he likely wouldn’t receive any sort of signing bonus. Then if he wins a job, obviously he’d be rewarded.