Tonight on the radio version of News, Notes and Rumors

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Tonight we continue our swing around the NFL talking to the beat writers that know their teams the best.

Tania Ganguli the beat writer for the Jaguars for the Florida Times-Union paper joins us to talk about the Jags draft needs and plans for the off season.  The Jags have the 7th pick.

Cleveland Sports legend Bob Karlovec joins us to talk about the Browns inability to get RG3 and what they will do now in the draft and free agency.

Jason Clary, beat writer for the Dolphins for the Knightcast Network joins us to talk about the chances of the Fish to get Peyton Manning and their draft needs and free agent plans.

Brian Silberberg, beat writer for the Broncos, joins us to talk about the chance of Denver to get Peyton Manning as well as their off season needs and plans for the draft.

Please join us.

NNR at 6PM EST follows the Moohead show at 5PM on http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/.  Press the Green arrow at 6 for NNR.

Join Mr. Moohead  on http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/ after early Cavs games for his post-game chat.

The archive of the show is available the following day at https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Be part of the show by calling our SportSims.com hotline at 216-539-0607.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits https://fryingpansports.com and was a senior writer for .  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  

 

Top 3 Football Cards of 2012 NFL Draft

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Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck at the footba...

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The 2012 NFL draft is sure to be one of the best rookie classes in a long time.  Some of the hottest players are going to be on top of many football card collectors’ want lists.  Part of the reason why this draft class is getting so much attention from collectors is the amount of offensive players that are supposed to be drafted in the top 10. Many scouts believe that at least 5 of these players are going to be franchise type players that can change the dynamic of a struggling franchise right away.  Here is a breakdown of our top 3 football card picks for the 2012 NFL draft class.

Andrew Luck – Andrew Luck football cards will be at the top of most collectors’ want lists in 2012.  The Stanford quarterback has become one of the elite prospects to come out of college in over a decade.  Most scouts believe that Luck will be drafted first by the Colts.  If the Colts decide to stick with Peyton Manning then you can expect the Colts to trade the #1 pick in the draft to a team willing to over pay to get the Stanford star.

Robert Griffin III – The Heisman winning QB is on top of many teams’ draft charts especially those who are in need of a franchise quarterback.  Griffin has great passing skills and can improvise with his legs.  He has the potential of being an elite all around quarterback with scrambling abilities which are needed in today’s game.  Companies like Upper Deck and Topps are sure to give collectors more than a few options when it comes to the Robert Griffin rookie cards.

Trent Richardson – Many scouts believe Trent Richardson is one of the top all-around backs to enter into the draft since Adrian Peterson.  The Alabama running back has all the gifts that are needed to be a great back in the NFL.  He can run, catch, and even block well which makes him the total package for NFL teams in need of a playmaker at the running back position.  You can expect his football card prices to skyrocket once the season starts.

News, Notes and Rumors

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By Bill Smith

News:

Five US Senators have introduced legislation to eliminate NFL Blackouts.

The NFL has announced that they will play 13 Thursday night games next season.  The games will continue after the traditional Thursday night league kickoff and run through week 15.

The league also announced that every NFL team will get at least 1 prime time game.

The Eagles announced they will plan to put the franchise tag on WR DeSean Jackson.  They will try to work out a trade.  That would mean if he signs the tender he would get around 9.5 million dollars for 2012.  He has said he would accept the tender but the tag cannot be placed until Feb. 26th.  The Eagles would get two first round picks from any team that signed him as a tagged player.  The Eagles will try to trade him this offseason for a first and another player.

The Jags have named Mark Lamping as their team president.  He will oversee all non-football operations.

 

Notes:

Agent Tom Condon has said “Peyton’s not done.”  Peyton Manning has been medically cleared to play by his doctors in 2012.   However, he has not been cleared by the team.  The Big question is where will he play?  Odds are good that the Colts will pay the 28 million dollar bonus to him and keep both Manning and Andrew Luck the likely first overall pick in the draft.

Former Browns and current Chief OC Brian Dabol has said he wants competition for starting QB Matt Cassel.   The team trusts their QB but not enough to guarantee him the job.  HC Romeo Crennel said Dabol will not coach a position.  The HC wants his OC to focus on calling plays.

The Bills have announced they will change their D to the 4-3 in 2012.  That means that several of their D players may be on the trading block because they no longer fit the system.   Dwan Edwards might be one such player.

The Plain Dealer reported that the Browns feel QB Colt McCoy will be better in 2012 because of a full season under HC Pat Shurmur.  That of course assumes Shurmur can help Colt develop.

RB Cadillac Williams is now Chevy Williams.  He turns 30 this year and will not be back with the Bucs.  He has never been the same after his injuries in 07 and 08.  He has never been the back he was expected to be when he was drafted.

The Saints are trying to resign QB Drew Brees before they address any other position.  WR Marques Colston is expected to be addressed after they sign Brees.

Steelers WR Hines Ward said he is willing to renegotiate his contract.  The Steelers are not sure they want him back at all.  They may keep him if they can.  He is a slot guy and they don’t have that without him.

The Steelers also are planning 2012 without RB Rashard Mendenhall.  He is in the last year of his contract and it will take a full year to recover from his ALC injury late in the season.

The Steelers have already gotten some cap relief by reworking the contracts of CB Ike Taylor, and LBs  LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons.  Even with these moves the team is still more than 10 mil over the cap.

The Pats and HC Belichick have not won a Super Bowl since the Video Gate controversy broke.

KC HC Romeo Crennel recently said that he would like to have a QB to challenge starter Matt Cassel.  Chief fans can only hope Romeo does not decide the starter by flipping a coin like he did in Cleveland.

 

Rumors:

QB Peyton Manning spent a couple of days in the Cards facility working with the coaching staff and receiver Larry Fitzgerald.  That would be a great place for Manning to continue his career.  It would also signal the end of the Kevin Kolb experiment.  Kolb is owed a 7 mill roster bonus next week.  He lost the starting job to John Skelton and will not get the bonus as the 3rd QB.  If he is allowed to become a UFA, look for the Browns to get involved in bidding for his services in 2012.  He is well schooled in the West Coast Offense and has ties to Browns’ GM Tom Heckert.

Look for several teams to be interested in FA WR Randy Moss.  Because he was a FA at the end of 2011 season he can sign immediately.  The Pats are one of the teams reported to be interested.  The lack of downfield speed has been one reason the team has failed to win another Super Bowl.  If Moss still has most of his speed, he will likely be signed for 2012.

Titan UFA CB Cortland Finnegan will be looking for around 10 mil a season in a new deal.  He is going to get multiple offers but given the 120 mil salary cap for 2012 he will not get that much.  He should get 7-8 mil.

Texan UFA DE Mario Williams will not be back.  He does not want to play OLB in a 3-4 D and will opt to a 4-3 team.  He made 1.8 mil last year and could become the highest paid defensive player in the league with an income of up to 14 mil.

The NFL has secretly been looking for ways to fix the Pro Bowl.  As usual I have the ultimate solution.  Pick the teams as always.  But rather than spending all that money to send everyone to Hawaii, use Madden to play the game.  The “winning” network could still broadcast the game and use its announcers to call it.  There would be a lot better tackling and the new use of a contract corporation would promote the video game and save the 25 fans that attend the game the cost of the tickets.

Last week on my show I threw out the name of possible Browns’ QB targets.  I added the name of ex-Eagle, ex-Redskin and ex-Viking QB McNabb as a joke.  Now, the longtime Eagle is rumored to be in the mix for the Browns.  If he is signed by the Browns, I will be scheduling the Pitchfork and Torch demonstration before game 1 rather than after another 4-12 season in 2012.

Denver 9News is reporting that the team is looking into the possibility of signing Peyton Manning if he is available.  The goal would be having him tutor QB Tim Tebow and filling in until the team decides if Tebow is the QB of the future or it finds the next guy.

 

If you enjoyed this, join us for the Internet version of News, Notes and Rumors on http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/  Monday –Thursday 6-7:30 PM EST. 

Follow me @NNRonDSN

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits https://fryingpansports.com and has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

 

Why Stanford QB Luck will not be a Colt in 2012

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There is a lot of talk in the sports world about which NFL team will by Luck(y).  Most people believe that the winner (by losing) will be either the Rams, the Dolphins or the Colts.  None of those teams have won a game so far.

The Dolphins – This team is struggling with bad coaching, no QB and a D that is constantly being put in bad field position by
turnovers.  The Fish would love to have Luck and he would love to play for them.   The coach is history after the season.
Having the first choice would allow the Fish to attract a top HC prospect.  It is likely the Fish will be in the battle for the top draft choice all season long.

The Rams – This is the only team that will likely trade the pick.  They have Bradford and are happy with him when he is healthy.
They have multiple issues on the O line and D that could be filled by the draft choices or young veterans they should get from trading the rights to Luck.  This deal will be made BEFORE the draft and not after they take Luck.  If they have both Luck and Bradford on the roster their negotiating power goes down not up.

The Colts – Most people are thinking that the Colts are the worst team in the league and will take Luck.  What they are missing is this—Luck does not want to sit for 4 or 5 years behind Payton Manning.  If the Colts end up with the 1st pick, I predict Luck will stay in school another year.  He is a red shirt Junior and can opt to come out for the draft or stay for another year.   He likes school and the college game.
While there is a risk staying in college, Luck is the closest thing to a sure thing and will not fall like Jake Locker did.  But having sat for a year in college I believe Luck will not want to sit for multiple years behind Manning.

 

That is what I think.  Tell us what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color
on radio for
college football and basketball and has scouted talent. 
He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .

Fantasy Football Quarterbacks

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Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys before the 200...

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Fantasy Football Quarterbacks

Having a good quarterback is a key to success in fantasy football. Every year, the league is based more around passing than running. A lot of teams will throw to their running backs almost as much as they hand them the ball. When you are drafting, you should consider the following three QBs to be at the top of the list.

Most fantasy football players draft quarterbacks early, but not as early as they draft their running backs and wide receivers. That’s in spite of the fact that fantasy football quarterbacks will consistently score more points for a team than a running back or a wide receiver. The difference is that you can only start a single quarterback, but you can almost always start two running backs and two wide receivers.

That being said, quarterbacks are important, and here are some tips and suggestions about some quarterbacks to keep an eye on in 2011.

1. Tom Brady

Last year, he got the ball to Danny Woodhead, a Division Three, undrafted rookie, and two rookie tight ends. He got no help from Randy Moss and had to throw to Deion Branch, who is well out of his prime. He still threw for a nine to one touchdown to interception ratio. With Ochocinco in the lineup this year, he will be unstoppable.

2. Aaron Rodgers

All he did was win the Super Bowl, and he will have more talent this year with the return of both Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley.

3. Philip Rivers

Rivers just puts up numbers. Even when the Chargers lose, he throws for two hundred and fifty yards. With Vincent Jackson returning, he will have a huge year.

4. Tony Romo

People like to make fun of Tony Romo, and maybe he deserves some of this derision. But with starters like these, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten, he’s going to put numbers on the board this year for sure.

5. Matt Schaub

Schaub would be higher on this list, but the running game on his team is going to reduce the number of passes that he’s going to throw. That’s going to affect his fantasy football performance. He’s still a good pick, but he’s not as good as some of the other quarterbacks on this list.

6. Matt Ryan

He’s been playing long enough to consider him a veteran. He could be a great value pick in your league this year, because he usually goes late. So keep your eye on him.

7. Matthew Stafford

If he can avoid getting injured, he should be able to put numbers on the scoreboard for you.

There are a few QBs not mentioned that could contend for these spots, including Peyton Manning.

John Clifton has written more about fantasy football quarterbacks at FantasyFootballTips.org.

The Biggest Questions For the 2011 Fantasy Football Season

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Mike Vick with Philadelphia

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It looks like the new collective bargaining agreement is going into effect sometime today (7/25/2011) and we should start seeing action all over the pro football realm. This means the 25 million or so fantasy football players can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Fantasy football will be played, trades will be made, and trophies will be be won. There is a controversial question that has been hotly debated over the past few months, really since the end of last years fantasy season. Should Michael Vick not only be the #1 quarterback drafted but the #1 overall pick? There are millions of fantasy owners on both sides of the fence. Is there a right answer. I for one am not quite sure there is, but let’s see if we can find it.

Argument(s) For Vick Being The #1 Overall Pick

The main argument for Vick being the #1 overall pick is that he is the most unique and dynamic player in fantasy football. When that fantasy football draft board goes up should he be the #1 pick? Here is what proponents say about that question.

Vick is a risk/reward player but the reward far outweighs the risk. Vick in addition to being dynamic is by far the most dangerous dual threat in the league. He is in a high powered offense where he can pass to any number of highly skilled options. If needs be he can take off and run if things break down. He is as dangerous a player on the field as there ever has been and if you need any proof just go back and look at the numbers last year against Washington and the New York Giants. Only Vick can put up these types of numbers. Sure a running back here and there rushes for 200 yards and 3 scores like Arian Foster did last year but Vick can put up 333 yards passing with 4 passing touchdowns and 80 yards rushing with 2 rushing tds like he did on Monday night against Washington. That’s at least 49 fantasy points in a standard league. Oh well that’s just one week he didn’t do that every week. No he didn’t but Vick did average a ridiculous 27 points a game. The next closest QB was Aaron Rodgers and he averaged right at 20. In standard leagues when Vick played a full game he only once scored “Below” 20 points and that was a 19 point outing against the Giants. The next time he played the Giants he scored 38. Proponents will argue there is no other player that has even close to this type of potential for scoring and anyone would be out of their mind not to draft him first. He is by far the best option to win you multiple weeks by himself and is probably the safest bet to provide you with double digit fantasy points week in and week out. It’s a no-brainer ladies and gentleman, Vick should be the first pick.

Arguments Against Vick Being the #1 Overall Pick

If you want to win your league’s fantasy football trophy, opponents will argue drafting Vick #1 overall would not be a wise choice. Here is what arguments are against Vick going #1 overall.

Fantasy is all about minimizing risk, especially with the first pick. Vick is much to risky of a pick to take first overall. Especially since you only need to start one qb in standard leagues and your next pick in a 10 man league isn’t until pick 20. Take a safe running back instead and wait on a qb. You can likely get Tom Brady or Peyton Manning with your next pick if you wait. Vick has only really had one other season similar to last years, and that was way back in 2002. Brady and Manning have been consistent for a decade. Vick in 2002 still scored less points than he did in 10′ and played 15 games where-as last year he played 12. Last year was an anomaly and not likely to be repeated. He had 9 rushing tds last year and 8 in 2002. The next 15 game season for Vick was 2004 and he only had 3 rushing tds. It’s hard to repeat that type of rushing td performance from year to year, even if you are Michael Vick. In 2003 after the big 02′ season he only played 5 games because of injury. Speaking of injury this is the next argument. Vick is one of the most dangerous weapons on the field, but also one of the most dangerous options to have as your quarterback due to injury. He only played in 12 games last year and took a large # of hits. He no longer is in his 20’s and the hits take a heavier toll in their 30s. If you look at his last 5 or 6 games defenses started blitzing him relentlessly and Vick took a beating. He had to sit out week 17 as a result and really didn’t look in perfect health against the Packers in the wild card round. His style is too dangerous, and injury is too big a concern. If defenses decide from day 1 the only way to stop him is to blitz him, and hit him, until they crack his armor (or worse ribs), then he is going to take a beating. Do you want to waste your #1 pick on a player that will likely miss games due to injury? Take A.P. instead and thank us for it later.

I could keep going with arguments for both sides but these are the main arguments that each side has. One of the great things about fantasy football is that there are arguments like this to be had. Truth is nobody knows the right answer until the season is complete. Vick will either be a fantasy juggernaut and help multiple teams win their championships, he will come back down to earth and score closer to his peers, or he will take a beating, be injured half of the year and be a nightmare for owners who drafted him first. If you really want him and you have the first pick your only option is to take him because he won’t be there when it’s your turn again.

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