teddy B2

The quarterback draft fall is an interesting creature. As is the case with any breath and action a quarterback takes throughout his life, there’s far more attention given to his struggle.

WIth that uber importance and bright spotlight, a miss on a quarterback ends the unemployment of many people (see: Cleveland, Minnesota). This year as we sit currently just over a month away from the draft, a fall for one of the three quarterbacks hovering around the top ten feels inevitable, as does the name of that tumbler: Teddy Bridgewater.

But why him?

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blake bortles2

His passes fell incomplete. They beelined off his palm like a kamikaze pilot, flying across the green grass before sinking in it. They sailed through the bright stadium lights and into the dark sky before going over the receiver’s head. They blindly flew out of bounds and bounced hopelessly on the sideline.

But it didn’t matter, because UCF’s Blake Bortles had potential. The one word that all the personnel men love to use until they’ve fired for using it. Then they hate it, and they tell others not to do the same. Then they get another job in the league and use it again, betting on a potentially good player like Bortles.

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chris johnson again2

Chris Johnson is many things, and few of those things are good right now. Set to turn 29 a few weeks into the 2014 season, he’s an old man by the standards of his position, a decline made even more real by his 2,014 career touches. He’s also a shell of his former self, with less explosive downfield shaking and/or baking, and much more backfield dancing that ends badly. He had only 1,077 rushing yards this past season, which is a drop of 287 yards from his total just a few years back in 2010, and he arrived there at a career low pace of 3.9 yards per carry.

Those numbers are bad news for a running back, and with Johnson that’s especially true when we toss in another awful digit: $8 million, his scheduled paycheck in 2014. It’s a hefty sum, and one set to make him the highest paid running back in the league not named Adrian Peterson next season if he stays with the Tennessee Titans.

Which is why he’s not staying with the Tennessee Titans.

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brian brohm2

The guy on the left isn’t better than the guy on the right.

The NFL draft is a hope factory, which is why it’s dissected relentlessly for weeks. The heart can’t control what it wants, but it’s important that throughout the process we all remember this: too often hope is mistaken for knowledge.

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Earlier this week I wondered if DeSean Jackson is worth all the money. Or, more specifically, if the Redskins could justify paying him the roughly $10 million annually he was seeking. To me the answer was a resounding negative for a number of reasons, but that answer is irrelevant now.

While the east coast was tucking in for an early spring slumber last night, Jackson was signing with the Washington Redskins. That’s not remotely surprising, as after spending two days meeting with the team’s various important people and eating several meals, leaving unsigned would have been a wee bit startling.

No, what’s surprising now are the reported terms being finalized this morning, with Jackson set to make $24 million over three years, $16 million of which is guaranteed.

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Greg Robinson2

Plump defenders are driven wayside like dummy sleds. They succumb, folding like lawn chairs, or even worse, drowning into the ground. By the whistle, they’re scrambling to regain their balance, hoping to avoid the embarrassment of a pancake. They know it’ll show up on the coach’s film the next morning. There’s no excuse for it — other than facing Greg Robinson.

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When I took a long, sorrow-filled look at the NFL running back last week and the decline of this particular football species in recent drafts, the evidence provided by free agency was a footnote. That was mostly done out of necessity, because even in late March the sample size to draw from of running back free agent signings this year was moderate at best. It was Ben Tate, followed by Rashad Jennings, and then a bunch of bit players and veterans.

That last part is still true. As is expected of a position where body breaking is an epidemic, the available names beyond Tate this year often have a very specific role they need to play if their new team wants a favorable return on their investment. It’s still an important role, though, one that in theory deserves fair financial compensation.

Well, define fair.

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