Tomorrow I’m heading off to Rochester, New York for a week to help work the Select 15 hockey camp, so I’m going to be pretty busy. Unless something major happens, I would not expect any posts. Now it will be nice to have a change of scenery, but I am in no way looking forward to being back in the humid climate. Also, go to diehardsport.com and check out Alex Friedman’s blog that I’ve been contributing too, if you haven’t done so yet. It’s a great read with a lot of great articles and I would highly recommend it. Also, keep an eye on foxsports.com, particularly the NHL and College Football sections…occasionally they pick up articles from Diehard Sport, which is always cool to see and a good way to pump my tires.
Coming up on Monday the 16th is the deadline to sign the NFL players that have been franchise tagged to long-term deals. The two most notable players that I’ve been keeping track of have been QB Drew Brees and DE Cliff Avril. There are plenty of other key players that were tagged and have not had a long-term deal worked out, but I haven’t been watching their sagas as closely. Most notably those other players are: RB’s Ray Rice and Matt Forte, WR’s Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker and Desean Jackson.
Now Brees and the Saints are apparently millions apart when it comes to guaranteed money. Brees was offered $19.25 Million, but wants $20.5 Million per year on average. Personally if I’m the Saints I would pony up the money. In the grand scheme of things, it is not that much money, especially when you consider the fact that you are giving it to Drew Brees, who is an absolute class act and a top 3 quarterback in the league. The Saints also let Pro Bowl guard Carl Nicks leave this offseason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they didn’t offer him a high enough contract. So not only did you give your star quarterback less protection, but now you don’t want to pay him the money he wants and deserves. Definitely not the way an organization should treat a guy that has done so much for a team and a city.
Cliff Avril, on the other hand, is a different story. Not to say that he isn’t a class act or a guy that is doing a great job for the Lions, but he reportedly wants a 4 year deal worth $42 Million. I personally don’t think he is worth that amount of money whatsoever. Is he a play maker? Yes. But, Ndamukong Suh and Matt Stafford will need new contracts soon, and next year DT Corey Williams, DT Sammie Lee Hill, DE Lawrence Jackson, LB Justin Durant, LB DeAndre Levy, S Louis Delmas and CB Chris Houston are free agents. The Lions would be better off not giving Avril a long-term deal, letting him play on the franchise tag for the year, and look to spend their money elsewhere next year. Because the Lions had so many high draft picks before the new CBA where there is a rookie pay scale, they have less than $3 Million in cap space at the moment. In my mind, having seven good players on the roster is better than having one great one and 3 good ones. You can’t keep every player that you want. This year the Houston Texans let Mario Williams, arguably the best defensive end in the entire NFL, walk in free agency because they couldn’t afford to franchise tag him or give him a new long-term deal. At this point though, I trust Martin Mayhew to do what is right and make the decisions that are necessary.
Also, more NCAA commercial’s for your enjoyment.