Some offseason thoughts:
- The Lions, Chiefs, Rams, 49ers, Jets, Bears, Buccaneers and Vikings need to consider picking up Michael Vick for the following reasons: Vick is recession-proof, as he will sell out the stadium. He will make the running game better for any team he plays for. He will make the defense better because of the disproportionate number of first downs he generates. Former coach Jon Gruden really likes Vick. He gave him the nickname “Starship 7” and was quoted as saying that he would create an offense for his exceptional talents.
- Will the Chiefs deal Larry Johnson before the draft? New coach Todd Haley has a track record of not being able to deal with volatile players. There were issues in Dallas. He had issues with Anquan Boldin and — to some extent — Kurt Warner in Arizona. It is not the Bill Belichick or Bill Parcells way to have these kind of players on the team.
- The Lions appear to be on the path of going with Daunte Culpepper. And based on the workout and evaluation on Matthew Stafford, the Lions may actually pass on the Georgia quarterback, which could create a domino effect. Stafford has all the skills but he is going to have to convince coaches that he has the understanding of the Xs & Os to make it happen given the amount of money it will cost the Lions. In years past this would not be as big a deal but given the economy, quarterbacks are quite pricey.
- Ray Lewis –- Which team needs him more? Can the Ravens survive losing Rex Ryan and Lewis? Could Lewis make the Jets an overnight contender regardless of who’s playing QB? Will the Cowboys bring Lewis in to provide the leadership sorely missed in the locker room?
- Julius Peppers turned down $90 million from the Panthers. Should the Panthers follow the track of the Patriots, who franchised Matt Cassel with the hope of getting draft choices for him? Are we about to see financial Armageddon with Peppers, Albert Haynesworth and DeMarcus Ware? On the surface it doesn’t make sense for Peppers to turn it down but at a closer review, it does make sense if the Panthers were not willing to guarantee as much as $40 million. Here’s the math these guys are looking at: The franchise number for Peppers and Ware is around $14 million. Add 10 percent to that number for the next year’s franchising and you have $30 million in virtual guaranteed money in two years.
— Jamie Dukes
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