Some storylines have legs; other story lines just will not die. This morning at CBSSports.com you can read about Joe Montana’s assessment as to why Colin Kaepernick does not have a job in the NFL. [Spoiler Alert: Defenses figured Kaepernick out. But there is still hope …] I have tired of this story; I believe we have all plumbed the depths of it thoroughly and repeatedly. What I prefer to do this morning is to look at a few other NFL veterans who are free agents but have no team to report to as training camps start to open in the next week.
- Anquan Boldin: He will be 37 in October and that is ancient for a WR. Nonetheless, he played in all 16 games last year and caught 67 passes for 584 yards and 8 TDs.
- Ryan Clady: He was cut by the Jets as the team cleared its roster of expensive and experienced players to go into a full-blown rebuilding phase. He has had some injury issues in the past three seasons but he will only turn 31 by the start of this season.
- Dwight Freeney: He is 36 years old and cannot play every snap on defense any more. As a situational pass-rusher …
- Nick Mangold: Like Ryan Clady, Mangold was asked to leave the Jets early in the free-agency period. Mangold is 33 years old.
- Darrelle Revis: He too left the Jets in the offseason. His play seemed to be on a downward arc for much of last season and he may need to play safety and not corner back if he plays in the NFL. Revis has signed some big contracts in his career; if he signs one now, it will be a small one.
- DeAngelo Williams: He filled in for LeVeon Bell last year and played adequately. He is 34 years old and has carried the ball 1730 time sin his NFL career.
- Mario Williams: He is a former overall #1 draft pick who is now 32 years old. As recently as 2014, he had 14.5 sacks in a season. In 2015, he had “issues” with the Bills’ defensive schemes and coaches and whatever; in 2016, he went to Miami and recorded only 1.5 sacks in 13 games. Can he still play …?
On the eve of training camp openings, the Chicago Sun-Times tracked down Bears’ draft pick, Mitch Trubisky, and asked some questions. One of the things Trubisky said was that he thinks the Bears can make the playoffs – – this year. A quick check this morning says that Las Vegas oddsmakers have a different view of the Bears’ fortunes for 2016. The Bears are 40-1 to win the NFC North and 20-1 to make the playoffs. However, Bears’ fans probably would prefer that their young QB-of-the-future be delusionally optimistic than to be resigned to a fate that looks like 3-13…
Thinking about Mitch Trubisky reminded me that “top QB prospects” in college last year had an “East-of-the-Mississippi” center of gravity. Trubisky was at UNC; Deshaun Watson was at Clemson, DeShone Kizer was at Notre Dame; Lamar Jackson was at Louisville. [Yes, I know that Patrick Mahomes II was at Texas Tech and that school is in Lubbock.] This year, it would appear as if the center of gravity for QB prospects has shifted decidedly to the west.
Lamar Jackson is still at Louisville and Deondre Francois is still at Florida State and Trace McSorley is still at Penn State. If I spent some time looking carefully, I am sure I would come up with some other quality QBs east of the Mississippi but these are the ones that come to mind quickly. However west of the Mississippi you have – in alphabetical order:
- Josh Allen – Wyoming
- Sam Darnold – USC
- Luke Falk – Washington State
- Tanner Mangum – BYU
- Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma
- Josh Rosen – UCLA
- Brett Rypien – Boise St.
I am sure that with some time spent on research, I could come up with some other “western QB prospects” too. For NFL scouts assigned to find a new QB for their teams, the focus in 2017 would seem not to be in the Eastern Time Zone…
Buffalo Bills’ DL, Adolphus Washington, was arrested in Ohio on charges of improperly carrying a concealed firearm. He has been released and the legal processes are ongoing in this matter. Here is the unusual aspect of this matter. Washington improperly carried his concealed firearm at – – wait for it – – a water park. Honestly, I could not make this stuff up.
Finally, here is a comment from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times regarding teams and their interactions with season-ticket holders:
“The Denver Broncos are revoking season tickets from purchasers who did not attend a home game last season.
“The Browns, not to be outdone, are offering free grief counseling for anyone who decides to re-up with them.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………