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 Post subject: News around the league
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 2:12 am 
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Barret Robbins in trouble again. It's a shame too, because his star fell so fast in the past 3 years. First the Super Bowl fiasco, then he spent last year's Super Bowl in a mental hospital because he stopped taking his medication, then it was discovered this past summer that he was using THG and he was caught up in that BALCO thing. When he was released, I was thinking that if he could keep his nose clean for this year, and also the fact that he was recovering from some injury, that the Falcons should try to sign him after the season and put him at LG. During his prime (which was about 5 years ago), he was probably the best run-blocking center in the NFL. But with this latest trangression, Robbins seems very reminiscent of another troubled NFL star center named Mike Webster. Webster is in the HOF, but has probably had one of the more checkered post-NFL careers than anybody else.

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Last edited by Pudge on Mon Sep 05, 2005 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 4:52 am 
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Phil Buchanon puts himself on the trade block. Whether the Raiders actually trade him, I'm not sure about. But I'm sure Buchanon will get some bites. Although pretty much no one on that Oakland defense has played well thsi year, I think Buchanon is still a solid cornerback. He's probably not going to be an elite #1 shutdown corner, but he could be a rock solid #2 guy. The Raiders would only have to eat an extra $100,000 in cap space if they made the trade happen.

Could the Falcons be in the market for Buchanon. I would hope so. He only counts $1.5 million next year, and his '06 cap hit is $1.6 million, which means his salary is very manageable for any team. But the question is what the Raiders want for him. I'm sure they'd prefer a 1st round pick. But might not get that. Maybe they would part ways with him for a 2nd and another middle round pick.

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 Post subject: Buchanon would be a no brainer for a second
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:49 am 
I don't see the Raider's just getting a second for Buchanon.Remember last year he was a hot commodity and I feel his level of playing has been lowered since the enivorment of the raiders is bad.Anything is possible look at the guy new orleans got from green bay the corner.If I am the Raiders I would want the highest pick as possible and I think there are teams out there that will give more than the falcon's.It is good to imagine the falcon's trading for him but will Mckay even pursue it?

Good corner's are hard to find and just imagining Buchanon with DHall is incredibly tempting.Will see what happens but it would be a no brainer for just a second.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 3:42 pm 
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I've always stated that Webster was a stopgap until we find someone better. Buchanon's $1.5 million salary is not too much, after all since most nickel backs in this league make between $500K and $1 million. So even if Webster managed to start over Buchanon, we wouldn't be committed huge amounts of money relatively to that position.

Let's just assume we did make the deal. Buchanon's contract runs out after the '06 season. That would mean that in the off-season before 2007, we would have to make a decision on whether to sign Buchanon to a long-term deal or letting him walk. And if the long-term deal is the decision, then it probably means we will cut Webster. In '07, Webster's cap hit is $3.17 million, which is too high for anybody but a quality starter.

Cutting Webster at that point would cost the team an extra $330K since $3.5 of Webster's original $7 million signing bonus would accelerate to that year. Eating that much more in cap space is not too big an issue.

Basically, Webster's contract is no different from most large NFL contracts. The vast majority of this deals with large signing bonus basically are 3 or 4-year deals, because they are so heavily backloaded that a team can only really go 3 or so years before it has to scrap the deal and cut the player or restructure their deal.

So Webster basically has 2-3 more years in Atlanta before the team dumps him. That gives us a 2 year window to find his eventual replacement. If it means using a 2nd and 5th rounder on a player like Buchanon, I think it will be a smart move.

Trades is something that I think a lot of people overlook. The very nature of trades means that you usually are going to give up less than what a player is worth. For example, the Falcons probably were going to part ways with a 3rd round pick for Brees this past off-season. As his play has shown this year, Brees is a first round talent (I've always felt this way since his rookie year), so in essence it's a steal.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 9:41 pm 
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i would love to see him in atl
with him and hall it could be a very good match
but what would it be worth
a second could be to high
be worth a look sure
but i would not put to much hope in him as a falcon
next year


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 7:47 pm 
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Vanderjagt is at it again. Well not really. His comments this time were rather mundane, but of course it will be fodder for the sports analysts for the next week until Sunday. I heard of him making the comments before I heard exactly what he did in fact say, which allowed me to jump to the conclusion that maybe it was a cry for help by Vanderjagt. I was thinking that maybe Vanderjagt was attempting to talk his way out of Indianapolis, in hopes of landing a big deal elsewhere in "better" environment. Vanderjagt's is about to enter his contract year, which by virtual rule makes him a candidate to be cut by his team in the off-season.

So I was thinking after the 2002 fiasco of the Vanderjagt-Manning wars, maybe the past 2 years haven't been very fun for Vandy in Indy. After a flawless 2003 season where his only missed kick came in the Pro Bowl, Vandy's FG% dipped to 80% this year. That's still considered to be a very good percentage, but considering his past record (87% career kicking prior to this year), it's pretty poor.

So that got me thinking (conspiracy theorists that I am) that maybe Vandy was boning kicks on purpose, added with his recent comments, trying to feul the fire that will get him out of Indy forever. Crazy theory, I know, but one that I hope is hopefully true. Vanderjagt, even despite a "bad" year this year, his 2nd in the past 3 years (only hit 74% in 2002), is still the best dome kicker in the league. His leg strength is rather average, but his accuracy makes up for it.

What I'm getting to is the fact that if the Colts did decide to part ways after this year, I would hope the Falcons would make every effort to get Vanderjagt, even if it meant making him the highest paid kicker in the NFL (of course UFA Vinatieri will likely earn tthose honors this off-season). He would boost our offense so much. Mora wouldn't have to worry about getting those extra yards due to a lack of confidence in our kicker making a 43-yarder. Vanderjagt, over the past 2 years has hit 85.7% of his FGs beyond 40 yards. His career total from that raange is 79.5%, which is higher than Feely's career total from all ranges (77.2%).

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:13 pm 
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Backs on the trade market. I know this news has persisted for some time, but I just decided to write about it. The backs I'm referring to are Travis Henry and Reuben Droughns. I think if a team gives up a lot for Droughns, they are making a big mistake. Yes, Droughns had an outstanding year this year, but so did Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson in Denver, and neither of those guys are feature back material. Droughns was a pretty good RB in college, but he's not outstanding and like so many backs he has benefited from that rock-solid Bronco O-line. If a team gave up more than #4 for him, they would be hurting themselves. I really doubt Droughns would be anymore productive than Duckett was this past year (about 500 yards) on a non-Broncos team. Droughns wants to be a feature back, but he may be best suited to remain at FB. He's not a monster lead blocker, but he's affective and can serve as a short-yardage/3rd down back, much like Nick Goings in Carolina. That's really all I see him as, a poor man's Tony Richardson, but just not as gifted a blocker.

As for Henry, I think he's going to get traded, and I think the best place for him is Arizona. I really think that he would benefit in Denny Green's offense which is going to get him plenty of touches both on the ground and in the air. I know the Bills will probably be asking for a #1 for him, but they won't get anything higher than a #2. And the Cards should pull the trigger because I really don't think any of the backs, despite being a strong class are any better than Henry. Henry wasn't good in 2004, but he was one of the better underrated backs in the league in 2002 and 2003. And I think a new environment will allow him to bounce back to that form.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:04 am 
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3-4 back in style again. The Cowboys, Dolphins, 49ers, Browns, and Broncos might all be making switches to the 3-4 defense this year.

Parcells is a 3-4 guy and has wanted to make the switch for a while now, and this year he likely will. He'll target a NT in free agency and work on getting OLBs for the task.

Saban is another 3-4 disciple, and its unsure if they will make the switch but, they could. They just need to get more size at LB. I suspect that the Dolphins are going to purge many of the starters on the defensive side of the ball anyway (as many as 8 could go), and installing the 3-4 with that type of turnover would make sense, since you are rebuilding anyway.

Nolan was converted to 3-4ism in '00 under Al Groh with the Jets. Previously he was a 4-3 guy under Norv Turner and Dan Reeves, but likely will make the switch in San Fran this year. They have the talent at LB with Julian Peterson potentially being a 15-sack guy at OLB.

Crennel will bring the 3-4 to Cleveland. They will have the hardest time adjusting, but guys like Orpheus Roye and Andra Davis should be fine.

The Broncos have indicated they are tinkering with the idea of using the 3-4 more often. It won't become their base defense but they want to use it more in order to confuse offenses. They have the personnel to make it work, despite not having a monster NT (Ellis Johnson can play the spot though).

I think 2 more teams that may make the switch soon are the Giants and Vikings. Both of them have DCs that are 3-4 guys (Tim Lewis & Ted Cottrell). I think the Giants haven't made the switch yet because of Strahan, who I think would be less useful in that system, but when they get rid of him, they can make it work (2006 maybe?). The Vikes have the personnel and a switch would probably help that struggling defense.

So when this year begins, we may see as many as 9 teams (49ers, Browns, Chargers, Cowboys, Dolphins, Patriots, Raiders, Steelers, Texans) using the 3-4 as their base defense, with 2 more (Broncos and Jets) using it a lot. The Ravens are expected to make the switch back to the 4-3 this year, but they still may employ some 3-4 looks as well.

There might be a time soon in the near future where half the league uses the 3-4 scheme (as soon as 5 years?) which is interesting. How long will that last? I think in another 5-10 years, you will see the 3-4 begin to die out again in favor of the 4-3. I think it's more a fad than a long-term trend in the NFL.

This is a reason why I think Matt Stewart is not going to return. His services will be wanted in places like San Diego, Cleveland, and Dallas as they try to make the switch.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 4:36 pm 
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Buffalo Bills are fools. They are expected to release Bledsoe before the start of free agency. Which IMO is a stupid move. The Bills renegotiated his contract last year so that he could stick around past this year. By the terms of his contract, I think there's a way they can manage his cap figure for another 2-3 years.

I don't like Losman. I thought he looked sharp as a junior, but from what I saw of him senior year, he lost everything he seemingly worked for that year. IMO, the Bills reached when they nabbed him in Round 1, because they felt like they were missing the QB train, and wanted to make sure they got a quality guy. As anybody that looks at draft history can tell, usually only about half of first round QBs actually turn out to be worth a damn. I think Losman is going to fall by the wayside in the half that featured Cade McNown, Akili Smith, and Ryan Leaf.

Even if there is a strong feeling in the organization that Losman is for real, what is this rush to get guys in the starting lineup by their 2nd year? It really doesn't make sense to me. And Bledsoe's $6.5 million figure and his slippage in play the last 2 years would indicate he should be released, but there is no need to do it. Chad Pennington developed very well and I don't think he became the starter until midway through his 3rd season. Time helps players out. Unless a front office/coaching staff is feeling the heat early to kick off a player's development in order to save their own jobs, its' not necessary.

As the Bengals saw this year, they had to struggle through a very bad season just for development's sake. I think the Chargers might suffer the same fate this upcoming season, and it would seem the Bills will too. Any momentum they had down the stretch this past season is going to be lost the minute you plug in Losman. They won those games down the stretch under the watch of Bledsoe. It would be similar in my opinion to the Steelers supplanting Big Ben as the starter with Maddox.

With our situation, I didn't think we should have cut Chandler. I think he should have stuck around in 2002 as Vick's backup. I know there is this huge pressure to get your star players on the field, but I think winning football games should count the most. The COwboys made the mistake of not playing Henson this past year because Vinny wasn't getting the job done. But the Bills (at least in the 2nd half) did get the job done under Bledsoe.

A long rant short: the Bills will rue the day they axe Bledsoe, because LOsman will never be the passer he is or was. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly take a large slice of humble pie, but I don't think I will be. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:42 pm 
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I pulled this off another board, and I think it's interesting although it has little to do with us:

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From Billsinsider.com.. "The latest word on Buffalo RB Travis Henry is that he will be traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars and that the deal is all but done. The Bills would be recieving a 3rd round draft choice in next years NFL draft and there could designated production benchmarks that, if met, could turn it into a 2nd round pick. If there is a hangup on the deal, it will be based on the conditions needed to transform it from a 3rd to a 2nd rounder. Henry is expected to take a physical in Jacksonville sometime next week, which he will pass, and it shouldn't be long after that the deal is made official.

The Tennessee Titans are also in the mix (and recently the Vikings have been added in the rumors), but at this point it looks as if Jacksonville is more willing to meet Tom Donahoe's demands."


Tom Donahoe was a GM I really respected from his days in Pittsburgh. They always stockpiled talent so that when players became free agents they could just let them walk and they had a lot of quality players that replaced them. But his time in Buffalo has been marred by some poor moves. His inability to trade Travis Henry up until now is just another example of this. A conditional 3rd round pick is something I think the Cardinals were offering back in April, and Donahoe's insistence that he didn't want to trade Henry was totally bogus all these months, and the fact that holding onto Henry in hopes of getting better compensation doesn't seem to work. He's a guy that I've lost a lot of respect for during his tenure in Buffalo.

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