April 5, 2006

McNAIR BARRED FROM TITANS’ TRAINING COMPLEX; RELEASE IMMINENT?

by JJ Cameron

Of all the signs that you're close to being released, not being allowed into your team's training complex would rank along the top of the list. This is the obstacle that Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair recently ran into.

Steve McNair Deserves Better from Tennessee Along with Peyton Manning, McNair was the league's co-MVP in 2003. But that wasn't enough to permit entrance into the Titans' work out building for the 11-year veteran. The team's general counsel told McNair's agent they don't want him attending any offseason conditioning programs until his contract is reworked.

Doesn't exactly sound like the way you treat a player you'd like to bring back. So, if McNair is released, where might he end up? The Ravens are looking for a QB, but Kerry Collins is a more likely choice to be reunited with Jim Fassel in Baltimore. There's always Detroit. The Lions seems to be holding open auditions for their starting position.

As for Tennessee, look for the club to select a quarterback in this month's NFL Draft. Bringing in Matt Leinart to work with Norm Chow almost makes too much sense at this point. Plus, you never know, maybe he'll bring Nick Lachey with him.

     
   
     

April 2, 2006

JOEY HARRINGTON TO SWIM WITH THE DOLPHINS IN MIAMI

by JJ Cameron

Fans, meanwhile, will soon start clammoring for the first-round bust to be swimming with the fishes. After Detroit brought in six dozen quarterbacks to replace JoeyEnjoy the Joey Era, Miami! Harrington, the Dolphins have decided that he’s still worth a two-year contract.

Know where this is headed, Miami fans? If Daunte Culpepper isn’t ready to go to begin the season, the team will take on the defending Super Bowl champions - on prime time television - with Harrington behind center. Is it too early to lay money on Pittsburgh?

The former Oregon Ducks’ star was a major let down during his time with the Lions. Although the club had inexplicably announced Harrington would remain the starter a few weeks ago, that decision was quickly reversed. Now Miami followers have to be asking themselves a simple question:

Was Ryan Leaf unavailable?

     
   
     

NATE BURLESON SIGNS WITH SEATTLE

by JJ Cameron

Burleson was a Disappointment Last SeasonThe wide receiver derby continues. Eric Moulds was the latest to change teams … until Nate Burleson signed with the Seahawks. Originally from the Emerald City, Burelson signed a seven-year contract that could be worth as much as $49 million.

The signing could be considered pay back for Seattle. After Minnesota nabbed star lineman Steve Hutchinson in free agency, the Seahawks locked up the player that was supposed to have taken over for Randy Moss last season. Burleson was a let down, however. Many fantasy teams that took a risk on him in an early round regretted the decision soon after.

The addition of Burleson can only increase the value of Matt Hasselback on your fantasy squad. The signal caller could be one of the top five quarterbacks taken in your draft.

     
   
     

March 31, 2006

MOULDS ABOUT TO GROW FOR TEXANS IN HOUSTON

by JJ Cameron

An unhappy Eric Moulds looks to be receiving the trade he’s been demandingDon't Mess with Eric Moulds for the last few weeks. The veteran receiver refused to restructure his contract in Buffalo and now the Bills are on the verge of shipping him to Houston for a fourth round pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Moulds should serve at the ideal complement to Andrew Johnson. Maybe the young receiver won’t completely suck this season and ruin certain people’s fantasy football teams! Perhaps David Carr will also now live up to his billing.

It’s been a busy off-season for wide outs. Keyshawn Johnson went to Carolina; Randy Moss’ agent was arrested; Terrell Owens ended up in Dallas. Sadly, the NFL also cracked down on endzone celebrations, meaning we may have to appreciate Chad Johnson only for his talent.

     
   
     

March 30, 2006

AGENT OF RANDY MOSS ARRESTED. AGAIN.

by JJ Cameron

Will Randy Moss Rebound in 2006?We’re not saying you shouldn’t draft Randy Moss just because his agent was arrested. But it’s hard to imagine this occurrence having a positive effect on such a malcontented superstar.

Dante DiTrapno was taken into custody this week after failing to appear at a hearing from an arrest on March 14 for felony possession of crack cocaine. In this as bad as robbing people? It’s difficult to say. But Moss certainly robbed many fantasy owners of a quality season last year with his disappointing performance.

There are other reasons, meanwhile, why Moss may have fallen out of good graces with fantasy football owners. His future quarterback, Aaron Brooks, is one of them. Unless Moss dons the uniform of the opposing team, he may never see a pass come his way.

Other signings will also have a domino effect. Terrell Owens may be a despicable human being, but he’ll catch many touchdowns in Dallas next season. Steve Smith and Chad Johnson should also have risen above Moss on your draft board. As you can tell, the most arresting development from this story is that a certain Oakland receiver is no longer among the game’s elite.

     
   
     

March 23, 2006

KEYSHAWN HAS CAROLINA PANTHERS ON HIS MIND

by JJ Cameron

Keyshawn Stumbles Into CarolinaOk, so the Files can’t be right all the time. A couple days after reporting that Keyshawn Johnson might sign with New York, the selfish possession receiver inked a four-year deal with Carolina instead.

While far from a dominant talent, Johnson is the ideal complement to Steve Smith. With Keyshawn patrolling the middle of the field, expect Smith to be open even more often on go routes and bombs. Could he even be the first receiver drafted in your fantasy league? We think so.

Thanks to this result and the previous one of DeShaun Foster, the Panthers have built an offense to go along with a stingy D. They should be the favorite in the NFC to reac the Super Bowl next season.

     
   
     

March 22, 2006

AARON BROOKS SIGNED TO HELM OAKLAND ATTACK

by JJ Cameron

The question of who Randy Moss will scream at for the ball has finally been answered in Oaklad. After severing ties with Kerry Collins - and watching other top QBs such as Drew Brees sign elsewhere - the Raiders signed Aaron Brooks to a two-year, $8 million contract.

The former New Orleans signal caller has had an up and down career. Brooks, 30, has averaged an impressive 25 touchdown passes - and a bevy of inane interceptions - over the last five years.

A mobile passer similar to another recently signed quarterback, Daunte Culpper, Brooks will certainly have many targets in Oakland. Aside from Moss, Raiders’ wide outs include Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry. But don’t be fooled. Certain fantasy footballers that will remain anonymous drafted Brooks as their starter last season - only to see him benched by New Orleans during a 52-3 drubbing and then waived before the year ended. He MIGHT be worthy of a late round selection.

Aaron Brooks, Welcome to Oakland

     
   
     

LINEMEN FIND NEW TEAMS; MAY AFFECT FANTASY RUNNING BACKS

by JJ Cameron

No matter what fantasy football league you participate in, you won’t be able to draft offensive linemen. This is a given. Systems can’t exactly reward points for pancake blocks. Nevertheless, a couple recent signings/cuts may affect your drafting strategy for the most important fantasy position: running back.

Let’s start in Seattle. The Seahawks did NOT match the offer to star guard, Steve Hutchinson. What will his signing with Minnesota mean for reigning MVP, Shaun Alexander? Most pundits believed that Alexander’s last couple of stellar seasons were due, in large part, to the league’s top offensive line in front of him.

So, is he still worthy of a top pick?

Larry Allen Brings the Pain In Dallas, meanwhile, players news continues to make fantasy waves. First, Terrell Owens signed. He’s a jerk. Not receiving as much publicity, however, was this week’s release of All-Pro lineman, Larry Allen. A really fat anchor on the line for 12 years on the team, Allen opened up holes for Julius Jones last season.

Where do you draft that running back now? And how many times will the statue known as Drew Bledsoe be sacked as a result of this decision?

The true fantasy football players follow such moves as these. They know, for example, that Keyshawn Johnson signing with the Giants affects more than just your wide receiver selection. This would also enhance New York’s running game because Keyshawn can, at least, block. It may bump Tiki Barber up even higher on your chart.

     
   
     

March 21, 2006

JUST THROW KEYSHAWN THE DAMN BALL … IN NEW YORK?

by JJ Cameron

Returning to NY?With Terrell Owens in Dallas, there was no room for Keyshawn Johnson. As entertaining, absurd and completely selfish a pairing as this would have made, the Cowboys cut the former first overall draft pick a couple weeks ago.

Where is he headed now? How about the same home stadium where he started his mediocre career, but with a different helmet on his head? An anonymous team official said Johnson met with the Giants this week.

While a tandem of Plaxico Burress and Keyshawn would give New York two physical, imposing receivers, does the club really need such an outspoken presence? How would that affect Eli Manning the first time he bounces a pass Keyshawn’s way?

It seems unlikely that a team led by a solid citizen such as Tiki Barber would truly give thought to this kind of addition. But the Files will you keep posted as the rumor develops.

     
   
     

March 20, 2006

TERRELL OWENS: BIG RISK IN BIG D

by Michael Stephens

Back in his days with the 49ers, Terrell Owens gained notoriety for his celebrations on Texas Stadium’s star at midfield, as his team trampled host Dallas.

Owens Signs With Dallas

Now, expect such celebrations to be commonplace as Dallas’ public enemy #1 has become simply… #81. The tremendous headache / receiver signed a three-year deal worth $25 million with the Cowboys and is out to prove he got a bum rap at Philadelphia and, before that, San Francisco. But will Dallas see the best wideout in the NFL, or its biggest locker room cancer?

Jerry Jones is banking on the former. A little extra salary cap room (per the revised collective bargaining agreement) and a chance to snare a marquee free agent were enough to sway the maverick owner. Dallas will be giving Owens a $5 million signing bonus and $5 million salary for 2006. After that, Owens is slated to earn $7 million in 2007 and $8 million in 2008, but whether he makes it to that point is a different matter.

If Owens’ tenure in Philadelphia is any indicator, he should have a monster year this season, then wear out his welcome. Just ask Donovan McNabb, or Eagles offensive coordinators past and present — Brad Childress and Marty Mornhinweg. All went to bat for Owens when coach Andy Reid was mulling whether the Eagles should trade for the mercurial one in 2004. Against his better judgment, Reid made the deal.

The San Francisco migrane would become his. Just as it has now become property of Jones. Owens did all the right things in 2004, as he put up MVP-worthy numbers and staged a near miracle in playing in the Super Bowl weeks after breaking his leg. But when the Eagles wouldn’t bump up his seven-year, $48 million deal prior to last season, his ego broke loose. But will he do the same to Bill Parcells?

Only time will tell, but look for T.O. to have a monster fantasy season in 2006. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and would love nothing more than to stick it to chief NFC East rival Philadelphia by taking Big D to the top of the heap. Even with an offense that struggled last year, Owens will make everyone better and get plenty of balls thrown his way. He’s easily one of the best receivers in football and your fantasy draft should reflect this.

All bets are off in 2007, though.

     
   
     


 
     
     
   
     
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