Everyone in Minnesota was panicking earlier today when ESPN reported that Brett Favre needed ankle surgery to play again. Everyone can relax now as Favre put a statement up on his site downplaying the severity of the injury, calling it “a relatively minor procedure could be done to improve the dexterity of the ankle, and to relieve the pain.”

Hidden in Favre’s statements might actually be some good news for Minnesota Vikings fans. Favre says that the injury isn’t going to affect his decision to retire or return for another season, ” I didn’t want anyone to assume that the possibility of surgery was the sole factor that would determine whether I return or not.” He goes on to talk about “wonderful experience that I had last year with the Vikings.” (more…)

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Eminem Targets Roethlisberger (Video)

Rapper Eminem mentions Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in his latest freestyle song, Despicable.

“I’d rather turn this club into a bar room brawl. Get as rowdy as Roethlisberger in a bathroom stall.”

The reference is to a recent incident where Roethlisberger took a 20-year-old student into the bathroom stall of a club while a friend kept watch outside making sure no one got in. The student accused Roethlisberger of sexual assault, but Roethlisberger was never charged.

Listen to Despicable in the embedded video.

Can the Jets Grab Adalius Thomas Too?

Adlius Thomas has been released by the New England Patriots with most pundits agreeing that he will likely end up with the New York Jets.

Thomas played with Jets head coach Rex Ryan when he was the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens, but there are several obstacles to Thomas becoming a Jet.

New York Jets NFL Flight Crew

First, the Jets already have a bunch of linebackers having recently added Jason Taylor.

However, the Jets were hoping Vernon Gholston could become a hybrid linebacker-defensive end. They have just given up on that after two disappointing seasons at outside linebacker and now have Gholston playing strictly his natural defensive end position.

Thomas has already played as a hybrid outside linebacker and defensive end for Rex Ryan, so the Jets could have a place for Thomas in defensive packages that need a hybrid player even with a bunch of veteran outside linebackers already on the roster.

The other problem is that they can’t sign him unless they lose a free agent. Because it is an uncapped year, the top eight teams in the league can only sign a free agent after they have lost a free agent to another team.

The Jets don’t currently have any un-alloted free agents, however other teams might grab unrestricted free-agents DE Marques Douglas or LB Ryan Fowler.

Of the two, Douglas is the more likely candidate. He is an older veteran who can provide depth on a contender or be a stop-gap for a year or two on a team that needs to buy time to develop depth at defensive end.

Fowler hasn’t contributed much to the Jets and it is unlikely other teams would expect him to contribute more in a different situation.

The New York Jets odds to win the Super Bowl currently sit at +1100. Expect them to become an even trendier pick if they add Thomas to their roster.

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Winners

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy is perfect for them and they got him exactly where he should go.

Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry is exactly what they needed. They might have been able to trade down a few spots and still pick him, but Berry is exactly what they needed.

Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung probably shouldn’t have fallen to Seattle, so great for them to pick him up. Earl Thomas is another great pick at 14. The Seahawks probably did the best of anyone on Day 1.

San Francisco 49ers: Getting two offensive linemen, Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, in the first round complete remakes their offensive line in just one day. I’m guessing they traded up for Iupati because they thought the Steelers were going to grab him.

Miami Dolphins: I like what they did trading down. And I like Jared Odrick. They grabbed some extra picks and still got a huge piece in the first round.

New York Jets: Kyle Wilson is going to learn from the best and, in a year or two, beat out an All-Star corner for a job.

Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Hughes is an incredible value at 31.

Losers

St Louis Rams: It’s too easy for a quarterback to end up as a bust and they get too much money as the number one pick. Sam Bradford is a very good prospect, but not an elite one which is what you want with a number one overall QB. St Louis should have traded this pick and grabbed either Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen later on in the draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Trade your first round draft pick to someone who is going to use it to draft first round talent.

Undecided

Denver Broncos: I love that they traded down, but Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas probably could have been picked up lower down.

Having said that, I’m a Tebow believer. He will be the best quarterback to come out of this draft because he has the right kind of determination and attention to detail to put in countless hours to fix his throwing mechanics and he has the demeanor of a winner on-field.

If the Broncos knew that someone was going to grab Tebow before them, then trading up to grab him was a good move.

 

The NFL draft is rapidly approaching and which means it is time for NFL draft props. Draft props are a great way of putting your mock-draft abilities to the test.

The over/under on Defensive Tackles taken in Round 1 is 4.5 with the over paying +160 and the under just -180.

Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy will almost certainly be gone in the top five, but the question is are there three more players talented enough to be worth a first-round picks and are there three teams who need Defensive Tackles badly enough to burn a first round selection on one of the remaining candidates.

Dan Williams of Tennesse will almost certainly go in the first round giving a third defensive tackle.

Jared Odrick, Brian Price and Terrence Cody are the three remaining DT’s who are considered possible first-round material and you will need two of three to go in the first round to cover the over.

Odrick was arrested in March, so some teams might shy away from him, but he seems like a safe, but not exceptional pick.

Price declared one year early and has some upside in a 4-3 system, but he only has one really good year to his credit, so it is hard to say if he will be able to consistently perform at a high level.

Cody is intriguing because he has been working hard in the off-season to trim off some of his massive bulk and teams will like that commitment.

Possible destinations include the Cincinnati Bengals, the New England Patriots, the Baltimore Ravens, the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints.

My guess is the Cincinnati uses Tank Johnson to let them gamble on developing a DT with a lower pick, the Pats pass on DT and choose to address other needs first, Odrick goes to the Ravens.

That leaves one of Price and Cody to go to New York, Minnesota or New Orleans in order to cover and I don’t see either of them being good enough to cause those teams to ignore other needs.

The under looks like the play here, but at -180 it might not be worthwhile.

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McNabb and Owens Together? Not Likely

ESPN is reporting that Donovan McNabb is open to the idea of playing with Terrell Owens despite their feud when they were on the Philadelphia Eagles.

But lets hold up here for a second.

The Washington Redskins may need some more talent at receiver, but this smells of a reporter making something out of nothing.

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“A source close to McNabb said the quarterback and Owens recently talked about the possibility of reuniting while shooting an episode for the television show “Pros vs. Joes” in Los Angeles.”

What exactly is a source close to McNabb? How did the subject come up?

The story makes it sound like McNabb is actively recruiting TO, but the truth is probably more like the subject happened to come up in conversation and McNabb was being polite and accommodating by not calling the prospect complete bunk.

I’m not calling the idea a complete impossibility, but from my experience with reporting, it sounds like an innocuous comment being blown out of proportion on a slow news day.

Marshall is Now Florida’s Mistake

With the Miami Dolphins‘ acquisition of Brandon Marshall they get the elite receiver that they need. He instantly improves the offense and gives quarterback Chad Henne a number one target who can make plays.
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Marshall will be good for a short while in Florida, but he’s not going to be a long-term help for this franchise.

The biggest problem for the Dolphins is that Miami is just too damn fun.

Look at all of the trouble Marshall got in to in Denver and then multiply that by ten. He is going to be out all of the time surrounded by people stroking his ego and it’s going to make him harder to deal with.

I’d love to be in Marshall’s shoes cause he is going to have a great time and he is set with his new contract. I’m sure he’ll put together a few good seasons, but he won’t be worth it for Florida.

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With the Jets acquisition of Santonio Holmes everyone is running to anoint the New York Jets as the 2010-2011 team to beat, or at least one of the teams to beat.

There are plenty of good reasons to like the Jets. Their beefed up their league best defense from last year and added offensive weapons that should give them one of the better offenses next season. But if you want to make some money, you should plan on betting against the Jets.

New York Jets Flight Crew

All of the hype they are getting for their off-season moves means oddsmakers can set the spread pretty much anywhere and expect the public to back the Jets for awhile. So, bet on the Jets’ opponents ATS in the preseason and the first two or so games.

Santonio Holmes is suspended for the first four games. When he comes back in Week 5, the Jets will get a big hype boost. Bet against them for a couple of weeks here as Holmes gets used to playing with this offense and the media gets over their Jets praise addiction.

The adjustment will probably take longer than just two weeks because Sanchez can’t buy Holmes time to get open deep the way Ben Roethlisberger did in Pittsburgh. Holmes will have a different role in the Jets offense and it might take the coaches a few tries before figuring out exactly how to use him effectively. In week 7-8 the media love-affair with the Jets should end and the lines will move to reflect their true value.

The Jets are relying on sophomore QB Mark Sanchez. Sanchez looked great in college, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll figure out the pro game any more next year. All of that talent at receiver could go to waste.

The Jets got Holmes to help them win in the playoffs and as the season progresses Sanchez should develop as a player and Holmes should figure out how he best contributes to the offense. Watch the second half of the season for signs that Sanchez and Holmes are coming around. You could find some value betting on the Jets later in the season.

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The Seattle Seahawks need a play-making receiver so badly that they have to overlook some serious attitude problems.

The Seahawks are showing interest in Brandon Marshall and Reggie Williams both of whom have some serious off-field problems.

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Brandon Marshall is one of the best receivers in the NFL, but the Denver Broncos put a first-round tender on him and are asking a steep price for a player that they don’t want.

Marshall had 101 receptions for 1,120 yards and would instantly become the go-to receiver in the Seahawks offense.

Seattle had talks with Denver about him, but they likely balked at the price. A month has passed since the Marshall flew to Seattle for evaluation without a trade and the free-agency period comes to an end on Wednesday.

Now ESPN is reporting that the Seahawks are talking with former Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Reggie Williams.

Williams doesn’t have nearly the talent of Marshall and didn’t play last year after being released for drug use, but he is good enough to be an upgrade and won’t cost the Seahawks anything.

Another possibility is that the Seattle Seahawks are using Williams as a negotiating ploy to get the Broncos to lower their price for Marshall. A draft day trade is a possibility with either the Seahawks caving and offering a first rounder or the Broncos caving and taking a second.

The New York Jets are after a player who has the potential to greatly improve their odds, but might just be a dud while the Washington Redskins have an impact player who might be available.

Jets courting Jason Taylor

The New York Jets are making a pitch to Miami Dolphins free-agent linebacker Jason Taylor.

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Taylor would improve the Jets pass rushing. The Jets only had eight sacks last season and a player like Taylor could add another 8-10 on his own and 4-6 team sacks.

Signing Taylor wouldn’t be without risks. He had a good season last year picking up seven sacks, but he is 35 and his play should be declining.

Haynesworth not trade-bait

The Washington Redskins are denying rumors that they are looking to trade Albert Haynesworth.

The speculation began when it was revealed that the Redskins offered Haynesworth in their quest for quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Haynesworth is still a dominant player and the only reasons to trade him are that the ownership is cutting costs, they think they can get a better deal by trading him, or the new coach doesn’t see Haynesworth as a fit for their system.

 

 

 
 
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