Friday, March 6, 2009

A Jagged Gorgeous Offseason

It's that time of year again. The first wave of NFL free agency has come to a close and it is time to look back, not in anger, but as an Eagles fan with abject rage and blinding hatred. You may or may not know the drill.

Again I will start with the Eagles; the wretched, misguided Eagles whose wreckage I cling to in these troubled times.

Philadelphia Eagles - Failed to resign Brian Dawkins, left tackle Tra Thomas, and running back Correll Buckhalter.
Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac

Buckhalter, okay. He's blown his knees out three times. Tra Thomas? He's a pretty old dude and not nearly the run blocker he once was. Plus, we have a modicum of offensive line depth. But Dawkins? Weapon X? The heart and soul of the Philadelphia Eagles? No one I have talked to has thought that this was a good idea. It's true that the Eagles have made similar moves in the past and come out smelling like roses; dumping Jeremiah Trotter, cutting Hugh Douglas, releasing Troy Vincent, even parting company with Duce Staley. All of these guys had career years with the Eagles, went to another team and promptly shat the proverbial bed. Something about the Dawkins move just smells different though. I can see this ending one of two ways: the cobbled together Broncos defense struggles mightily and Dawkins realizes that most of his success was due to Jim Johnson's schemes and Dawkins chemistry with his teammates, or Dawkins has a Pro Bowl season taking one of the worst defenses in the NFL to the top in the span of one season.

Washnigton Redskins - Signed defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to a record-breaking 7-year, $100 million contract.
Psycho Killer by Talking Heads

Who can forget this beauty? There can be little doubt that Albert Haynesworth is a mountain of a man in the middle of the line and that his presence on a defense can certainly change things for all of the players around him. However, he has to show up to work in order for that to transpire and this little snapshot indicates that he's just as likely to be up in a clock tower with a high-powered rifle or facing off against The Thing as playing football on any given Sunday.

"Mr. Gurode, don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry..."

Seattle Seahawks - Signed wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh to a 5-year, $40 million contract.
Panic Attack by Dream Theater

The title here is my preferred explanation of how this move occurred. I can see the interaction in the Seahawks front office right now.
Guy #1: "Remember what happened last year when we had no wide receivers and everyone got injured and we lost the easiest division in the NFL to the Cardinals? I sure am glad we did something to fix that problem in the offseason."

Guy #2: "Umm, are you feeling okay... Maybe you should take a look at the depth chart."
Guy #1: "Wha? Hrmm, okay let's see... Deion Branch, okay... Nate Burleson... Wait, Koren Robinson? Are you sure this is this year's depth chart and not the 2001 depth chart?
Guy #2: "Pretty sure."
Guy#1: "Michael Bumpus? That's not even a real person! You made that name up!"
Guy #2: "I wish I had..."
Guy #1: "... ..."
Guy #2: "Are you alright?"
Guy #1: "Yeah... Yeah I'm fine, I just stroked out a little bit there... Hey,
remember what happened last year when we had no wide receivers and everyone got injured and we lost the easiest division in the NFL to the Cardinals? I sure am glad we did something to fix that problem in the offseason."
Koren Robinson on one of his numerous "breaks" from football.

Buffalo Bills - Signed wide receiver Terrell Owens to a 1-year, $6.5 million contract.
Bad Reputation by Joan Jett

"And I'm only doing good when I'm having fun \ And I don't have to please no one." Getcha popcorn ready, Bills fans. As if Trent Edwards wasn't under enough pressure. First, he gets the Bill Walsh seal of approval which is tantamount to getting the dreaded Joe Montana comparison. Now he has to deal with this. A 1-year flyer is probably worth it for the Bills, who desperately need a big red zone target who isn't named Robert Royal. But between Marshawn Lynch and Terrell Owens, I can't wait to see what kind of hijinks come out of Buffalo next season. Golf carts and crunches and sharpies, oh my! There's going to be a standing reservation for two at Applebees every week, that's all I know.

Kansas City Chiefs - Trade 2nd round pick to Patriots for quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel.
Give It Away by Red Hot Chili Peppers

In a move that has been met with great suspicion from just about everyone, The Patriots dumped a starting NFL quarterback, a veteran linebacker, and a ton of salary in exchange for one second round pick. Some may point to the fact that former Patriots personnel man Scott Pioli now runs the Chiefs and insist that there is some back-scratching going on. However, I prefer to think that the Patriots knew what they had in Cassel and that was an A.J. Feeley/Billy Volek type who looks good replacing a good quarterback in a good offense, but is no Tom Brady. Although, outplaying Tyler Thigpen shouldn't prove to be a huge challenge.

Who would you rather have throwing you the ball?

Arizona Cardinals - Resign quarterback Kurt Warner to a 2-year, $23 million contract.
Ramblin' Man by The Allman Brothers Band

This is dedicated more to Warner's agent Mark Bartelstein than to the former MVP himself, but they have both looked like jackasses in this recent episode. Throughout the highly publicized and drawn out negotiations between the Cardinals and the quarterback who led them to their first Super Bowl in... well... ever, Bartelstein came out with such rambling, bullshit gems as
People assume things are being done to create leverage and that's not true. Anyone who knows Kurt Warner knows that's not the moral plane he operates under. He would never do something to create leverage.
just to then turn around and pull out
He really had a great visit [to the 49ers]. It really went well and it has really open[ed] his eyes. But Kurt’s heart is still here [in Arizona].
He and Warner also claimed to be willing to "give up" $1 million a year in salary if the Cardinals would resign Anquan Boldin, but then claimed on the Dan Patrick Show that the offer "didn't come up at all" in negotiations with the Cardinals. All the while, the 49ers have claimed that "no real offer" was made to the veteran quarterback, even though Warner and his agent insist that he was super, super cereal about joining the San Francisco franchise.

"I'm super cereal, you guys"

New York Jets -
Signed linebacker Bart Scott to a 6-year, $48 million contract.
Painkiller by Judas Priest

Have you heard this man talk?
Oh, the collisions are beautiful, man. It's car wrecks. And it's about our wills, man, and joints are shifted, bones are broke, bones are sprained, ligaments are hurt, and I think it's the most beautiful thing in the world. It's music to me. . . . It's an art. And I think we're entertainers, and everybody loves the blood-and-guts movies.
Is it that much of a stretch to go from that to this?
Faster than a bullet
Terrifying scream
Enraged and full of anger
He's half man and half machine

Rides the Metal Monster
Breathing smoke and fire
Closing in with vengeance soaring high


I am really looking for an excuse to use Aqualung in this post, but I think that's nothing but a pipe dream. Anyway, hopefully I didn't miss anything super huge, but if I did, please leave a comment and I'll try to wedge the story into this contrived mess somehow.


Ryan Smith said...

splendid. bart scott is delightfully crazy.

extra points for the double pun w/ haynesworth, too -- 'psycho killer' by the talking heads. well played.

question: can dawkins carry the Weapon X nickname with him to Denver? Are nicknames transferable? is there any precedent here? his is such a cool nickname...

Mike LeGower said...

I think that firmly established player nicknames always travel with the player. Jake "The Snake" took his nickname to Denver I believe. Now Weapon X was never truly established in the mainstream press I think. But even more reason for him to take it with him. Maybe he can get more pub for his awesome nickname in a new environment.