Crabtree Wants The Money

August 6, 2009

It was reported today that All-America Wide Reciever Michael Crabtree, who was the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft by the San Fransisco 49ers is willing to sit out the ENTIRE season and re-enter his name into the 2010 draft pool if his contract demands are not met. His adviser/cousin claims that he is just looking for fair market value and that he was offered less then the $37 Million that 7th overall pick Derrius Heyward-Bey signed for. Any conventional football fan would know that Crabtree is better than Heyward-Bey but the draft board does not lie. Crabtree was a lock to go as a Top 5 pick in the draft, had he not suffered a stress fracture in his left foot in a game while playing for Texas Tech. But he did suffer a stress fracture and he slipped in the draft because of it.

Michael Crabtree May Never Catch A Pass For The 49ers

Michael Crabtree May Never Catch A Pass For The 49ers

No one is doubting Michael Crabtree’s ability. His skills were on full display every Sunday for the high powered Red Raider offense.  What he is trying to pull in The City by the Bay is just downright offensive. Over the past 5 years NFL rookie contracts have risen to an astounding and absurd level for players that have never proven themselves on a single down in the league. It can be argued that these players need to get the money upfront, while they can, before having 16 game schedule take a toll on their bodies, in a league with no guaranteed contracts. No one can fault a player, rookie or veteran, who is looking to get their deserved payday after proving themselves on different levels. On that same token, no player could blame a franchise for being wary about giving up extra millions of dollars to a player that has a red flag raised on their health report.

Michael Crabtree has been given a clean bill of health but was asked not to participate in OTA’s this spring because of his injury. This did not stop Crabtree from being a fixture at the 49ers rehab center this offseason to make sure that he is 100% ready for the season both physically and mentally. Now it seems as though the only thing that may stop Crabtree from getting on the field and potentially from ever donning a 49ers uniform is the money. Whether the threats of the pass catcher to sit out the 2009 campaign come to fruition or not remains to be seen, but what has now been seen is Michael Crabtree in a sour light, like many Wide Receivers before him. The thought of a rookie trying to call the shots and damage the collective karma of the Niners must be especially displeasing to the 49ers no nonsense, defensive minded Head Coach Mike Singletary. Just remember back to last season when Coach Singletary chewed out top 10 draft pick TE Vernon Davis and sent him back to the locker room for lack of hustle. Crabtree cannot be endearing himself to the former NFL ballhawk who used to make a living tabooing receivers like Crabtree for a living. I’m sure that news of his rookie star wanting to choose dollars over football sense makes him want to throw on a helmet and hit the gridiron to teach the NFL novice a thing or two about respecting the game.

The stage was so perfectly set for Michael Crabtree to come in and make an immediate impact on one of the leagues most celebrated franchise. The fans of the 49ers were jumping for joy when he fell to them at #10, evoking memories of Jerry Rice and to a degree, Terrell Owens. This was going to be a special bond right out of the gate, with Crabtree playing with a chip on his shoulder, sticking it to all the teams that passed over picking him. Alas, now his image is forever tarnished before he is even able to catch a pigskin in an NFL game.  For his sake, I hope he doesn’t sit out the entire season and turn an entire city against him. His talent should not be overshadowed by contract disputes, especially before he takes his first snap, but we may be heading towards a disaster by the bay.

Be well my junkie monkeys,

Jordan


Show E the money

August 6, 2009

The Giants signed their franchise Quarterback, Eli Manning to a robust 6 year, $97.5 million contract yesterday, with more than 35 million guaranteed. And the guy deserves every penny. Manning led the Giants to a stunning Super Bowl victory 2 years ago in dramatic fashion over the Patriots, and that alone paid for his contract in full.  He isn’t what you would call an elite QB,  but there are only 2 or 3 of those guys in the league as we speak. However you slice it, Eli must sit near the top of a large group in the next tier of guys, because he owns a ring and a Super Bowl MVP.

Manning's new deal will make him one of the highest payed players in the league

Manning's new deal will make him one of the highest payed players in the league

Eli is not a stat guy, and he never will be. He’s not flashy, and will mix in the occasional ugly throw, but he’s as durable a player at the qb position as there is in league, without a missed start (71 straight) since taking over behind center. The guy plays every week, which is an over looked quality. Even with a Super Bowl under his belt,  Eli still doesn’t get a ton of credit, and may be even somewhat over looked in the upper echelon of QB’s. But he wins games year in and year out, and that’s the point isn’t it?  The younger Manning is a rock at the most important position on the field for the Giants;  he’s as unflappable and even-keeled as they come. This trait is key at the Quarterback position, and his poise in the huddle and the pocket helps every player to remain calm in pressure situations. Eli is more of a care taker than a play maker in the Giants power running offense, but he does exactly what is asked of him, doing a beautiful job of taking care of the ball since their run to the Super Bowl. All Giant fans are aware of Eli’s uncanny knack for stepping up his level when it counts in the 4th quarter, and he always seems to make that big throw in a tight spot when they really need it.  His composure in those situations is why there are few QB’s in the league I’d rather have running the show in crunch time, and is why everyone in that locker room trusts and believes in him.

No,  Eli will never be Peyton, but he doesn’t have to be. The Giants are happy with the Manning they have as the face of their franchise.  He’s smart,  has top notch work ethic and is a true professional. It may seem like a ton of money, but for a Super Bowl winning QB, with his intangibles,  it’s about going rate. If Matt Cassel is worth 63 million off 1 season as a starter,  then a 28 year old Manning entering his prime is well worth 97.5.  And I don’t believe we’ve seen the best of Eli,  not by a long shot.

It’s hard to believe he will be entering his 6th year in the league this fall. He is one of the longest tenured players on the Giant, and he’s the teams leader. It hasn’t always been pretty, but I don’t think any Giant fan could have asked for more thus far. You want 300 yard, 3 touchdown games go see his brother. Eli has taken a lot of heat over the years in a town that can be harsh, but he’s brushed if off his shoulder with class, and gone about his business. And all that’s paid off cause he’s  a made man in New York now.

As unsavory as it was, he gets a free pass for last year’s playoff  performance against the Eagles, and this contract will come with the pressure and expectations of another Super Bowl title.  I am looking forward to him continuing to grow as a QB, and Giant fans should have a lot to be excited about over the next few years. New York is as complete a team as there is in the league and will be amongst the favorites to return to the Super Bowl.  But don’t expect that to bother Eli. He’ll be in the film room studying tape.

Just getting started on the NFL here…so far just the local stuff. But in the coming weeks expect more and more about everything NFL as training camp and preseason begin to unfold…

Be well,

Brandon


Wasted Talent

August 5, 2009

Plaxico had it all.

He was a game changer. An outlier with a rare package of size and skill at the wide receiver position.  A type of player you don’t see often, and the type of player offensive minds crave. The ability to throw the ball up in just the general area of a guy and have confidence he can come down with it is hard to find. Plaxico had that talent, and the Super Bowl ring to match it. On the eve of the next season, he was rewarded for his title winning catch with a hefty new contract. The Giants were motoring through a brutal schedule, on their way to home field in the NFC, and a real chance to defend their title. Then Plaxico Burress went out on a Friday night to a club, took a gun with him, and ended his Giants career.

Plaxico wasn’t having a pro bowl year, but his presence on the field was irreplaceable, and his absence derailed the Giants season. A less gifted individual would be cast off without question for such inexcusable acts. But the Giants knew how valuable he was, and wanted to work things out in spite of them. The Giants hierarchy sat down with Burress and merely asked that he understand the implications, and the magnitude of his actions. They asked him to be as remorseful as he should be. And they asked that after he pay for his transgressions, that a new version of Plaxico Burress show up for work every day,  on time, without excuse.  But that wasn’t going to be possible. Burress scoffed at the Giants request to forfeit portions of his bonus they felt he violated. Or at very least return them as a sign of good faith to the team that pays him, and the teammates he let down.  Weeks after the shot heard round the NFL, with a self inflicted bullet wound in his leg,  and embarrassment and criticism piling sky high, still no humbled Plax emerged.

Insted of gearing up for training camp, Plaxico will gear up for trial and eventual jail time

Insted of gearing up for training camp, Plaxico will gear up for trial and eventual jail time

Instead, Burress and his lawyers wasted months trying to figure out a way for him to avoid significant jail time, and their plans backfired. Plaxico must believe he’s above the law. That his stature affords him the right to take an unregistered firearm out into public without consequence. If he didn’t believe it,  Burress wouldn’t have sat in front of grand jury to testify, and do nothing but worsen his already bleak situation. A fews days ago Buress was indicted on two gun charges, and an additional one for reckless endangerment.  I guess the jury saw the same thing as the Giants.

Burress needs to, and will go to prison for what looks like at least a year or two.  Had he accepted that early on, he might be knocking off a large portion of that sentence as we speak. But Burress failed to take the opportunity to mitigate the damages he’s already caused to himself, his family and his reputation.  The Giants were forced to release Burress, because if they didn’t,  they would be going against everything Tom Coughlin has created here  about the concept of team, and how no one individual is above it.

Plaxico appeared close to becoming a player who grasps that concept in their run to the Super Bowl. He played week after week on one ankle, because that’s what the team needed him to do. He turned in a virtuoso performance in the NFC Championship game under rarely seen conditions in Green Bay. And after claiming a Super Bowl ring, the validation of everything he and the Giants worked for, it looked like this could be just the beginning. But when the next season rolled along we found nothing but the same old Plax;  the one that had to be suspended for a game just weeks after receiving an extension.

New York’s team in 2008 with Burress was the league’s best.  I’m not saying that because I am a Giant fan,  I’m saying it because I believe it to be true. The Giants beat the last four teams standing in 2008. They went on the road and beat the Steelers, and the Cardinals, who they played minus Burress and Jacobs. They beat up a rugged Ravens team, that made a spirited run to the AFC title game. They were a complete team, that knew how to play together, with discipline and toughness. They ran the ball down your throat, and it didn’t matter that you knew it was coming.

Many Giant fans were naive for these reasons, believing that they could survive without Burress because of their strength as a unit. I was one of them. But Burress’ absence squeezed the Giants running lanes, which were gaping for 3 quarters of a year as the Giants rolled to 11-1. His replacements came up small, and the defense grew too weary to carry them. They held on to home field advantage, just barely, edging out Carolina in come back fashion in an OT thriller. That would be their only win in their last 5 contents, and the Eagles rolled in the Meadowlands a better and more confident team then the Gmen. They played each other twice a year. Too much familiarity to be fearful. Wrong team, wrong time.  Without their all world giraffe to snatch pigskins out of the air, the Giants kicked field goal after field goal, becoming mediocre offensively in their final games before elimination.

It’s a shame that Burress was not on the field. These types of accidents just shouldn’t happen. Especially not to an adult who has immense responsibilities as a professional and a public figure. But we know now that Burress has never really become an adult. Never been mature enough to see the big picture, and atleast pretend to go through the motions and conduct himself the way a man making millions of dollars needs to.

This isn’t about how much of an idiot he is for shooting himself. That’s a given.

A Bronx Tale told us that one of the saddest things in life is wasted talent

A Bronx Tale told us that one of the saddest things in life is wasted talent

It’s about the opportunities he’s cost himself and by extension many others. The moments that could have been had he displayed a little self restraint.  I could have used any number of words there. Because I honestly don’t know what he was thinking when he took that gun with him. So I can’t say for sure what would have stopped him.

If you felt so strongly you needed a gun to go to a club, why would one go at all?  I guess that’s a question only a rational person can answer.  He had a football game on Sunday, and it wouldn’t have killed  him to lay low. It would have saved him a lot of pain and embarrassment actually.  Instead, Plaxico’s career potentially may never resume, and I,  like many Giant fans,  are left in bewilderment of a man who may have won us a Super Bowl, and cost us one as well.

He and Eli Manning were well on their way to becoming the most prestigious QB-WR combo in team history. And I firmly believe that this team had the makings of a dynasty, capable of winning 3 or 4 titles in a six or seven year span.

But things have changed now. That saddest part however, isn’t that Plaxico will never play for the Giants again, it’s that he may never get it. The light may never go on.

Too much wasted talent.

And the Giants won’t be the same without him.


Can The Jets Defense Jet Them To The Top?

August 4, 2009

Lets do this,

It’s getting closer and closer my friends. The NFL is around the corner. The New York Jets have a great number of flaws that more than likely will not be addressed before the season begins. But I can not help myself from getting pumped up. I mean it has to be some type of sickness that Jet and Met fans have because the teams continue to break our hearts. Despite this, we still have the same intensity going into the next season.

The Jets last year were 8-3 going into week 13. They had beat the undefeated Tennessee Titans and the Patriots both on the road and things were looking up. I tasted the playoffs. Then they decide to implode and go 1-5 in the last 6 weeks and fuck everything up. Between Favre’s maniac interceptions in the red zone and having players talking smack about one another, the team was in shambles.

There is a laundry list of other reasons this teams failed in the last 6 weeks but we are past that now. Coles and Favre have left the team and I say good riddance. Favre mistake prone ways made him a huge liability and as for Coles; I don’t need anyone on my team complaining about getting the ball thrown to them. I mean saying something to one another in the locker room is one thing, but saying it to the media is just a bitch move. Now that Favre is gone, Thomas Jones won’t have to go on the hip hop radio station hot 97 and talk about how Favre was losing games for them. None of this would have been an issue if we had had a head coach with any type of nutsack, and that’s why Rex Ryan is in and Mangini was given the boot.

New Head Coach Rex Ryan Hopes To Bring Big Smiles And Wins To The NY Jets This Season

New Head Coach Rex Ryan Hopes To Bring Big Smiles And Wins To The NY Jets This Season

This Season Rex does have a tall order ahead. He first has to figure out who his QB is going to be. The Jets traded up to the 5th overall pick this year and drafted pretty boy Marc Sanchez out of USC. I understand that he only played 13 games as a starter at USC, but in those games he performed with great poise and exhibited the tools of a champion player who can be a stud in this league. It helps out a bit that Rex Ryan has a great blueprint by which to groom him, being a member of a Baltimore coaching staff last season that did it with rookie QB Joe Flacco. What I think Rex has to steer clear of is any QB controversy once the season gets under way. Kellen Clemens is the other QB in contention for the job, and I just don’t think he’s got the stuff. He had a chance to prove himself last year and he failed. I wouldn’t be able to take the bullshit of having him start the season, them lose 3 games, and have all the talk that the season is lost and its time to put Sanchez in. Unless the team is 0-9 you have to stick to your guns and let things play out. The move is to start Sanchez and keep the fans behind you. Nobody wants to see Kellen Clemens run out opening Sunday as their teams QB…Nobody.

The next issue to be dealt with is this Wide Reciever core which is lacking a ton of experience. After Jericho it’s a laundry list of guys like Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith, David Clowney, and Wallace Wright who combined for 449 yards receiving last year. Not so hot. But there’s always the option of Leon Washington out of the back field and rising star Dustin Keller at tight end. I think the lack of receiving options will force offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to be much more creative this year, which would be great considering how gutless he was last season.

Things Rex won’t have to worry about as much are his offensive line and his running game. With Mangold and D’Brickshaw going into their 4th seasons and veterans like Damien Woody and the never flagged Alan Faneca, this team is going to do some serious damage running the football and in pass protection. Thomas Jones and Leon Washington will have holes a mack truck could squeeze through. Think like anybody when they are spending one night in Paris Hilton, that type of space.

Jones led the AFC in rushing and could threaten to do so again. And with Washington’s explosiveness as a change of pace back, the two of them could be in for another season of stat stacking. Let’s not forget Veteran Tony Richardson at full back leading the way for this dynamic duo. Now what all Jet Fans should be pumped about is going to be this smash mouth D that Rex Ryan is in the process of grooming. With acquisitions like Bart Scott, Lito Sheppard, and Jim Leonard and returning stars such as Kerry Rhodes, Kris Jenkins, David Harris, Sean Ellis and Darrelle Revis, this team has the potential to be top 3 overall on defense. This has never been the method of operations for the jets at all, but I fuckin lovvveeee ittttt. Not in my lifetime have I seen a defense first, offense second type of team. When do they ever have a big stop on a 3rd and 1 or some huge goal line stand? It just doesn’t happen for this team.

If players can stay healthy (Kris Jenkins) this team is going to be a force like no other with Rex Ryan at the helm. Next post I’m going to talk about some future bets for all you degenerate gamblers out there just like me.

Peace,

BB


Well Dressed Amani To Suit Up For Chiefs

August 4, 2009
Fomer NY Giant Captain Amani Toomer Will Be Missed By Big Blue Fans

Former NY Giant Captain Amani Toomer Will Be Missed By Big Blue Fans

Reports today are that long time Giant Amani Toomer has signed a one year deal to play for the Kansas City Chiefs. As a die hard Giant fan, I am thrilled that he will have a chance to stay in the league for at least one more season, and help out Matt Cassel on a rebuilding Chief team. Amani was a Giant for every year of his NFL career, and for every year of my fanhood. He is a class act, and one of the greatest pass catchers in Giants history. Any fan of the team can tell you how many difficult catches he made in critical moments. How bout that full extension dive down the left sideline in the NFC Championship game at Lambeau? He may never have been elite, but he was a damn good player, who could be relied upon for many years. Hope he does well there,  as a mentor for their young wide outs,  and maybe shows a few people he’s still got something left.

I’ll have something  on another departed Giant Wide Receiver later today…

Be good junkies,


Berg The Basher Moseys Into Town

July 23, 2009

Berg the Basher is another good friend of ours who has a distaste for stories in sports that take away from the game.  He will be popping in from time to time to chime in his thoughts.  Take it away Berg:

Do Not Cross Berg The Basher

Do Not Cross Berg The Basher

Hello Hello,

Alright people time to talk about a couple of things going on in the sports world that are off the field. To start things off we have a top 5 QB in the NFL accused of rape. Now Ben does have creepy characteristics about him (that cluster of pubes all over his face) that would make you think he is capable of this but I have to side with Big Ben here and say he didn’t do it. I saw pictures of this broad and she’s just not getting it from anybody, unless that anybody is me, from behind, wearing a bag over her head. I mean I don’t have the type of resources that Big Ben has but I would imagine that he could do better, despite him being ugly as fuck!  I hope for his sake he didn’t make this move, because on my scale of 1 or 0, she’s a big fat zero. Moving on I have to thank the world for the internet and hot chicks like Erin Andrews.  BTW those cannons on her are definitely real but anyway. As cool as it would be for someone to pull this off I feel like this had to be an inside job. I mean this chick was a sex tape away from going Hollywood anyway so she figures this is the next best thing. I mean that’s what it takes now to get into that world so there it is. Erin Andrews staged this shit to take her career to the next level. Do I give a shit… at all… the answer is no people. Anytime you see a hot chicks T and P just take it and stop bitching about it for god sakes. So that’s my take on these two fucked up situations.

Until next time,

BB


Cassel Can Buy a Castle in Kansas City

July 15, 2009

Matt Cassel received a six-year contract worth over $60 million, with $28 million guaranteed.

The deal is worth $40.5 million over the first three years. Cassel’s contract also includes a $7.5 million bonus, which is triggered if the quarterback is on the Chiefs’ roster at the start of the 2011 league year.

Cassel May Need More Then His O-Line and a Moat To Protect Him In His First Year in KC

Cassel May Need More Then His O-Line and a Moat To Protect Him In His First Year in KC

I can see where the Kansas City Cheifs are coming from in overpaying for this NFL novice.  They are a team that has been muddled in mediocrity, just told their face of the franchise TE Tony Gonzalez to fly on over to the Falcons and they haven’t had a steady, name QB since they caught the tail end of Joe Montana’s career.  So their answer was to make a QB with ONE year experience in the NFL not only their starting quarterback, but their savior. In essence, it’s as if the Chiefs just drafted a QB with the #1 pick in the draft, paying him a slightly larger figure then the 2009 #1 pick, Lions QB Matthew Stafford.  Stafford went to the University of Georgia and Matt Cassel went to the University of the New England Patriots, earning high marks as a fill in for Mr. Brady, leading NE to an 11-5 record.  Not bad for a QB that never started in the NFL or in college at USC being the understudy of Carson Palmer.   I saw a lot of Cassel last year and the man has skills, anyone that can and has put up 400+ yards in a single game has the tools.  The lessons that #16 learned last year will certainly give him a fighters chance to be as good as his contract is paying him to be.

Time and time again New England has proven that it knows how to evaluate and cultivate it’s talent so when new Chiefs GM Scott Pioli traded in Massachusetts for Missouri, he traded for Matt Cassel and gave him a boatload of money.  There is reason to be optimistic for the Chiefs, but not this season.  Based on winning percentages from last year, the Chiefs face one of the leagues hardest schedules.  True that Cassel will be facing weak D in the NFC West, but he will also be facing defenses from the bruising NFC East as well.  That doesn’t even take into account that QB Cassel won’t be throwing to the likes of Moss and Welker this year and his Offensive line is not nearly as large and skilled as what he had in Beantown. So he will be battered and bruised with the best of them, this year atleast.

Matt Cassel, I for one think that you are an athlete that is to be admired.  A hard worker and a true testiment to the human resolve of not giving up when you were told that there was always someone better then you that you’d need to wait behind.  With your big arm and keen instincts, I think that you can potentially be the Chief in Kansas City for many years to come.  Now is your time to shine, no one is better then MC in KC but there are a lot of teams better then KC in the NFL.

Best from your Blogger,

Jordan

(Note from Brandon: It seems like they over payed for Cassel but in reality that’s just going rate for a cut above middle class QB these days. David Garrard got about the same last year, and playoff proven talents Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers will get over $100 million dollar extensions, likely in the next few months. Pioli drafted Cassel as you said, so if he wanted him enough to trade for him, and Mcdaniels wanted to give up Cutler for him, its evident they believe they are getting a really talented player. In that way, 60 mil is probably a good deal for them.  That throw to the corner to Moss against the Jets certainly caught everyones attention. I like the young talent on defensive line they have but your right the schedule is pretty brutal. A 7 or 8 win campaign would be a good start here, but locking up Cassel was the right move.)