Archive for the ‘The Silliest Season’ Category


Last week the mere notion of the Browns finding a trading partner for Colt McCoy made me chuckle with great delight. Why would any team give up anything of any significance for a quarterback who will be released soon anyway, and he’s not worthy of a trade investment? Even a seventh-round pick seemed like far too much.

But in those moments when I wrote those words, I neglected the 49ers. Yes, the 49ers, the defending NFC champions who fell only a few points shy of winning this year’s Super Bowl. They’re in need of a backup they can trust after Alex Smith was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. They also have 14 picks in this month’s draft, and 14 rookies starting for a team that just played in the Super Bowl is a thing that definitely wasn’t happening.

And that, friends, is why Colt McCoy is the newest 49er.

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Update: It’s official now, with the Raiders giving up a fifth-round pick in the 2014 draft, and a conditional pick in 2015.

Matt Flynn is likely, probably, almost definitely about to get a real chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. It’s just too bad that he’ll have to do it in Oakland.

Continuing a series of quarterback transactions over the past few days that — while quite notable — have been entirely expected, the Raiders and Seahawks are reportedly about to complete a trade which will send Flynn to Oakland in exchange for multiple picks, according to Jay Glazer. The exact value of the picks still isn’t known yet, but Glazer reports they’ll be spread over the next two drafts in 2014 and 2015, and they’ll come in the later rounds. If that is indeed the final compensation, then this could become a shrewd rebuilding move by Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie. He’s buying low on Flynn’s potential and paying little, while therefore risking little.

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UPDATE (11:05 a.m. ET): We’ll surely write more words once this is finalized, but for now know that following the Matt Flynn trade, the Raiders are reportedly working on the final details of the Palmer deal.

We begin this Monday morning following a long holiday weekend highlighted by far too much ham and chocolate (often at the same time, on the same plate…what?) the same way we’ve started so many mornings recently: that’s right, it’s Carson Palmer trade speculation time again.

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anquan boldin2

Just two days ago, I wrote that Anquan Boldin was the bee’s knees during the Super Bowl and throughout the playoffs, and possibly also the cat’s meow. During the championship game he finished with 104 receiving yards and a touchdown on six catches, and taking that further, a veteran wideout peaked when it mattered most in the post season.

To review…

  • He averaged 17.3 yards per catch during the playoffs, and 14.2 during the regular season.
  • Throughout his 15 regular-season games there was only one week when he had 100 or more receiving yards. In four playoff games (the equivalent of a quarter of the regular season) he had two 100-yard games.
  • That resulted in an average of 95 yards per game in the playoffs (380 overall), after he set a pace of 61.4 per week during the regular season.
  • Lastly, Boldin’s four post-season touchdowns matched his regular-season total.

Now, I’m writing about Boldin retiring if he’s cut. Ahhh, smells like early February.

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Read that headline again. I mean really read it, and feel it.

That’s the question we’re essentially discussing as Joe Flacco begins his quest to rob all of the banks, just days after he was named the Super Bowl MVP.

Flacco is a pending free agent, and eventually he’ll be signed to a lucrative long-term contract by the Ravens. It may not happen until the middle of the Summer, and it may require the use of the franchise tag in the interim. But it’ll happen, as no competent franchise would allow the championship-game MVP to walk.

But as both the Ravens and by extension the rest of the NFL community (see: us) begin to scrutinize Flacco’s long-term value after his agent said that he deserves to be the highest paid quarterback (and therefore the highest paid player in the league), it’s difficult to abandon our recency bias. We primarily remember what happened yesterday, or this week, or this month, and not a player’s entire body of work. It’s hard to get past this tendency, because it’s such a fundamental human habit. Right now upon just hearing Joe Flacco’s name the image of him holding the Lombardi Trophy immediately flashes in your mental slideshow, followed by his key throws in Sunday’s game.

Try you must, though, because the evaluation of Flacco’s play and potential becomes much deeper than that, and the Aaron Rodgers question is a central one.

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Chris Johnson can be fast, and elusive, and shifty, and all the things that make an elite (*cringes*) running back elite. But he can also dance, and plod, and entirely miss running lanes. Too often over the past two seasons he’s either been one of those two things, or nothing. There’s no even ground with Johnson, and no average performance. There’s a boom, or there’s a bust.

That’s why while the sex appeal of the high end of Johnson’s talents is understandably irresistible, the low end makes a long-term financial commitment difficult. Combine that inconsistency with his inherently risky status as a running back, and we arrive at one of the most perplexing players when it’s time for a general manager to either give Johnson a contract, re-structure his current one, or manage the player financially in any way.

This week the Titans had a choice: commit to their polarizing running back at a heavy expense for 2013, or jettison him and start over. They’re reportedly set to make the only logical decision available to them with their still young and still developing quarterback in need of support. But that doesn’t make it any less painful.

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Ma, pack the Winnebago! We’re goin’ minin’, because there’s gold in them there Revis hills! (yeehaaaa).

Woah boy, it seems the Darrelle Revis hunt is on. I’d tell every team to bring it, but it’s already been broughten.

Yesterday I wrote that as of, well, yesterday I wasn’t confident in a Revis deal getting done this offseason due to the many elements and moving parts involved. Namely, the combination of these potentially significant hurdles: Revis’ ACL injury, his high contract demands when he joins a hypothetical new team, and the Jets’ high trade demands that will require the sacrificing of at minimum a first rounder. That reasoning hasn’t changed in 24 hours. But dammit, logic won’t stop an NFL general manager who’s caught the sweet scent of blood. Fresh, delicious, desperate rival blood.

And you know, I very much welcome the possibility of being wrong on this, and I do that selfishly. Although it’s difficult to imagine right now with the frenzied buildup to the Super Bowl, there’s a bit of a slow, mid-winter depression period following the biggest of the big games, and something to appease our desire to talk about football stuff is needed. Last year, Peyton Manning was gracious enough to throw cats during the spring before becoming one of the most coveted free agents in league history.

Now, CBS’ Mike Freeman spoke to a general manager who said there’s a gold rush coming, and Revis will be this year’s Manning (*pumps fist forever*).

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