Here I go again writing another NFL blog on my Blackberry. You probably wonder why I write blogs via my Blackberry. The reason for me doing so is that I am not forced or chained to a computer trying to input all of my thoughts into a blog at one time. With that being said, let's get to the NFL portion of this blog. Many NFL teams this week conducted OTA's and there was a lot of good news coming out of the OTA's about the top 1st round draft picks. Bradford, McCoy, Colt McCoy, Bryant, Tebow and Suh all looked great and impressed their new teammates and coaching staff. Amidst all of the encouraging news, there were lots of off the field issues that dominated the headlines.
Haynesworth continued to stay in the headlines by not attending camp which made Snyder publically express his disappointment on the situation. Later we learned that Haynesworth wasn't doing anything wrong, he has a clause in his contract stating that he does not have attend OTAs. Even though he is exercising his rights per his contract, Washington has a big issue on their hands. He isn't happy with the fact that Washington is going to a 3-4 defense and wants him to play the nose. One of the reasons besides the $100 million dollar contract that made him sign with Washington, was that they were a 4-3 team. I don't get his dislike of not wanting to play the nose in the 3-4. As I blogged on Wednesday, there are many versions of the 3-4 defense and Haynesworth would be an ideal fit in a zone blitz 3-4 or phillips 3-4. This Haynesworth drama in Washington won't be dissolved easily or soon. I expect for them to trade him for a combination of picks and/or a player before the season starts.
A player who isn't known for being in the headlines with off the field issues is Andre Johnson. To some it was a shock that he didn't show up to OTAs on Monday, but I wasn't. I tweeted something like this would happen the day that Brandon Marshall was traded to Miami, and received that large contract making him the highest paid wide out in the league. Anyone with half a brain knows that Brandon Marshall is good, but he isn't even on the same level as Andre or Fitzgerald. Yeah Marshall has put up nice numbers, but amongst the top five wide outs in the NFL, he is number five at best. Andre has put up numbers that only one other person has ever put up, Jerry Rice. With that being said, Andre felt that he needed to be paid accordingly to whom he is, the best wide out in the NFL. The problem is that he is going into the third year of a eight year deal that is a new contract he received three years into his rookie contract. Basically he had had two contracts and he has only been in the league for seven years and now he is asking for a third. His current contract is a front loaded contract. So far in the first two years of the current deal, he has collected over $25 million of a $60 million dollar contract. He has been paid like a top wide out so far. The fact that he won't be paid as a top wide out during the remaining years of his deal, is partly his fault and inflation. Him not having an agent until yesterday (Friday May 21st) led to this. An agent wouldn't have negotiated a contract that was so front loaded like his. Or if one did, he would have made sure that Andre wasn't slotted to be paid like the fourth best receiver in the league in the last five years of the current deal. Freaking Roy Williams is making more money than Andre; we all know that isn’t right. SMH. Andre did show up to camp later in the week, and all seems to be well. I doubt Houston will give him a new deal, that just would be a smart thing to do on so many levels. I do expect them to come to some sort of an agreement and things go back to normal in Houston.
Down in San Diego, as they were ooooing and awwwwing over Ryan Matthews, A.J. Smith and Shawne Merriman's new agent David Dunn sat down to discuss an new deal. Merriman has yet to sign his tender that would pay him 3.27 million, and according to the Chargers, he will be on the trade block until October. San Diego has a lot of players who need new contracts and considering that they are a very deep team, don't be surprised if Merriman is traded. He may just be a little too expensive for them to give a long term deal to with other good players on their who can fill his position. Another reason I see him being traded is that over the past two years, he hasn't been the "Lights Out" Shawne Merriman that he used to be known as. I see him going to Green Bay, Washington or Dallas with New England being a quiet dark horse.
One of the quietest news stories of the week is the possibility of Lambeau Field being expanded to an 85 to 90,000 seat stadium. I'm sure everyone who is on the waiting list for Packer tickets are praying this happens. For me it’s a mute point. I have access to 20 tickets to every home game that are four rows from the field in several areas of the stadium. For those of you who haven't been to Lambeau and have a trip to Lambeau Field on your bucket list, it’s an overwhelming experience that's almost indescribable. Anyway, for years now the Packers have been holding focus groups on this issue as well as the possibily of adding underground parking and a plaza around the Lambeau Field Atrium. The underground parking and Atrium was agreed upon and approved three years ago, but was put on hold in October of 2008. As far as the new seats go, we'll see what happens. It’s just chitter chatter for now and nothing definite has been approved. If you don't have connections like me to go to a Packer home game, you will have to continue to find a "hook up" or pray that they agree to the expansion sometime soon.