Time for the 19th installment of the NFL Free Agent Report.  Click here for a link to earlier reports.

Jared Allen
Obviously the big news was the trade and signing of Jared Allen, who led the league in sacks last year.  The Vikings traded their first round pick along with two third round picks for Allen.  He signed a six-year $74 million deal to join the Purple. 

Rashied Davis
The WR/Special Teams star signed a three-year deal with the Bears.  Not bad for a former Arena league player.  He had 17 catches for 165 yards last year and 11 tackles on Special Teams

Pacman Jones
The other big news was the Pacman trade.  He is going to Dallas for a 4th round pick.  If he plays this year, Tennessee could get an additional pick.  If he isn’t reinstated, Dallas will get a 4th round pick next year.  Pacman settled a contract issue with Tennessee where instead of repaying money owed to Tennessee he has to “make it rain” $500K on a charity.  He has also restructured his deal with Dallas so he has no guaranteed money.

Matt Stewart
Arizona signed the LB to a one-year deal.  He didn’t play last year, but in 2006 he had 20 tackles and a sack.  My guess is he’ll be be a Special Teamer.

Nate Washington
Nate signed a one-year deal to remain with Pittsburgh.  Last year the wideout had 29 catches for 450 yards.  He had two 2 TD games last year. 

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Wow, what a lame headline.  I don’t know why I think of that Subway guy when I hear the name Jared, but hopefully that will all change as I watch Jared Allen punish QBs for the Purple and Gold.  The Vikings have been on the other side of blockbuster trades recently (Moss & Culpepper) so it’s weird to see the shoe on the other foot.  The bounty was a little steep (#17 & two 3rd rounders), but it’s a nice, bold move for Minnesota (as well as a necessity for Kansas City). 

The Vikings generated little-to-no QB pressure last year.  They were going to draft a defensive lineman in the draft.  Instead of taking a chance on a prospect, wait for them to develop, and hope they pan out, Minnesota went with the present.  It would be nicer if they had a QB that was ready to lead a playoff contender, but that’s a whole different story.  Jared Allen teams with Kevin & Pat Williams to form one of the best defensive fronts in the league.  His main concern is the bottle.  If he can keep his nose clean, this should work out well.  I tried to avoid it, but here goes.  Let’s hope it works out far better than the Herschel Walker deal.

For the Chiefs, it was a no-brainer.  They have gotten old. Real old.  They needed to inject some youth into their team.  Now with their pick they can go after a top tier defensive end to groom to replace Allen.  With their second first round pick (if they are wise) they will address their pathetic offensive line. With a couple of extra 3rd round picks they can get some depth in their secondary and their wide receiver corps. 

It took a little while to hammer out the details, but I’m glad this deal got done.  It adds some excitement to the draft.  I wish both teams well.  This is a bold move.  Let’s hope we have two winners

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So if you’re checking out my site, I encourage you to hop on over to KFFL and Hoopsworld when you’re done.  Tell them Lesters sent you.

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After getting canned by the New York Knicks, Isiah Thomas finds himself out of a job, and owing dinner to Matt Millen of the Detroit Lions and Kevin McHale of the Minnesota Timberwolves.  They entered an agreement where they would each do whatever it takes to get fired, and Thomas was the first one to succeed.  With two men left, the stakes go up.  Whoever gets fired next owes the last man standing a Cadillac.  Look for brilliant moves from these two master minds as they vie for that top prize. 

 | Posted by | Categories: NBA, NFL |

Friday Tidbits 4/18/08

18 April 2008

Jason Kidd notched his 100th career triple-double.  Carmelo got popped for a DUI.  Nice distraction as your team is battling for the final playoff spot.  The Wolves won back-to-back games.  The Sonics won what is most likely their last home game.  Indiana and Golden State lost to eliminate their playoff chances.   Ramon Sessions had 20 points to go along with his 24 assists.  The Lakers took top seed in the West. LeBron won the scoring title.  Boston finished with 66 wins.  The Bulls showed Jim Boylan the door.  Milwaukee did the same for Larry Krystkowiak.

Chris Chelios played in his 248th playoff game, which set an NHL record.  Pittsburgh (over Ottawa) and the Rangers (over the Devils)  jumped out to 2-0 series leads.  Minnesota even their series with a win over Colorado.  Washington took Game 1 against Philly.  Robert Nilsson signed a three-year deal with Edmonton.  Detroit (Nashville) Dallas(Anaheim), and Montreal (Boston) jumped out to 2-0 leads.  Martin Biron and the Flyers blanked Washington to even the series at 1-1.  Boston (Montreal) and New Jersey (Rangers) showed some life by taking game 3.  Calgary stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 2-1 series lead.  Unlike the NBA, the NHL can make rule changes when they want to.  Sean Avery’s stick in Brodeur’s face to distract him was deemed unsportsmanlike.  Instead of waiting until the end of the year to address it, the NHL decided it’s against the rules.  I like it.  Pittsburgh beat Ottawa 4-1 to take a 3-0 series lead.  Nashville scored 3 in the third to take Game 3.  Minnesota used OT (yet again) to take a 2-1 lead over Colorado.  Montreal’s Carey Price shutout Boston 1-0 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.  Philadelphia took Game 3 of their series with Washington for a 2-1 lead.  Anaheim fought back with a 4-2 victory Dallas, who leads 2-1.  San Jose evened their series at 2 with a 3-2 win over Calgary.  Colorado blasted Minnesota 5-1 to even their series at 2 apiece.  Carolina signed Sergei Samsonov to a three-year deal worth $7.6 million.  Vancouver fired GM Dave Nonis.  Pittsburgh swept Ottawa away.  The Rangers buried the Devils to take a 3-1 series lead.  Nashville knocked off Detroit to even their series at 2.  Boston peppered Montreal 5-1 to stay alive.  Montreal has a 3-2 lead.  Philly beat Washington in Double OT to take a 3-1 series lead.  Dallas beat Anaheim in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead.  Colorado beat Minnesota in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead.  San Jose took game 5 and a 3-2 series lead over Calgary.

Randy Johnson’s 285 victory was blown by his relievers.  Hey, at least he was back and pitched well.  The Yankees drew first blood on the Red Sox behind Chien-Ming Wang’s two-hitter.  Carlos Pena, Raul Ibanez, and Jeremy Hermedia hit a pair of HRs last Friday.  Dontrelle Willis hyperextended his knee.  Jeff Francoeur smashed 2 HRs on Saturday.  Roy Halladay fired a complete game.  Dave Roberts had knee surgery and will be out a few months.  Barry Bonds’ last HR ball sold for $370K,  The problem is, there is still a chance someone picks him up to DH later this year or next, making that ball virtually worthless.  Tom Glavine hurt his hamstring in the first inning of his start vs. Washington on Sunday.  Paul Konerko and Joe Crede cranked Grand Slams in the same game. Zack Greinke threw a complete game on Monday to improve to 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA.  Joe Borowski and Eric Bedard landed on the DL.  Ken Griffey, Jr. hit HRs #595 &596.  A-Rod tied and passed Ted Williams and Willie McCovey on the all-time HR list.  Alfonso Soriano landed on the DL.  Edgar Renteria cracked a Grand Slam.  Carlos Zambrano had three hits in a game.  C.C. Sabathia got rocked..again.  Miguel Tejada not only lied about steroids, evidently he lied about his age.  Manny Ramirez and Chipper Jones each smacked a pair of HRs.  Colorado beat San Diego in 22 innings.

Steve McNair is retiring.  It was a good run.  Chad Johnson has demanded a trade.  Housh said Cincy should trade him.Darrell Jackson and Samie Parker signed with the Denver Broncos.  Deuce McAllister reworked his deal to remain a Saint.  Cato June had his DUI charges dropped.  The Chargers will be without LB Stephen Cooper for 4 games due to a substance abuse violation.  Duane Starks signed with the Raiders.  Arizona NT Gabe Watson broke his kneecap when he fell off a treadmill.  Guess he won’t be getting any “Dancing with the Stars” invites.  Jared Allen will visit Minnesota and Tampa Bay, who are speculated to be suitors via trade.  Terrell Suggs showed up for minicamp.  The G-Men are still waiting to hear what Strahan decides.  The Packers will retire Brett Favre’s #4 in the season opener with Minnesota.

Michael Beasley is turning pro.  Derrick Rose will join him.  They figure to be the top two picks in the draft.  Florida F Jonathan Mitchell will transfer.  Tyler Hansbrough won the Wooden Award.  Kentucky G Jodie Meeks had a sports hernia surgery.  Former Duke F Taylor King is transfering to Villanova.  Tennessee Guard J.P. Prince had shoulder surgery.  John Calipari signed an extension with Memphis.  Butler’s Brad Stevens signed a seven-year deal, but I would guess if he continued his success, he’d be moving on.  Gonzaga’s Jeremy Pargo is turning pro.  Kansas State Coach Frank Martin signed a five-year extension.  Psst.  He doesn’t have Beasley anymore.  Kevin Love is turning pro…mistake.  Kansas’ Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur will turn pro.

Penn State suspended DT Phil Taylor.  Teammate Sean Lee (LB) will miss the year with a torn knee.  Duke suspended OT Cameron Goldberg for a rule violation.

Trevor Immelman earned the Green Jacket by winning the Masters.  What a failure for Tiger Woods as he finished second.  To get sympathy (kidding), he underwent knee surgery, which means he’ll likely miss The Players Championship.  So much for that Grand Slam. 

Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Subway Fresh Fit 500 after his crew chief  gambled on his fuel.

That concludes the Tidbits. As always feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.

Thanks again for supporting my blog. Be sure to check out My Favorites.  There are some great links over there.

Time for the 18th installment of the NFL Free Agent Report.  Click here for a link to earlier reports.

Darrell Jackson

D-Jax takes his drops to Denver.  He signed a one-year deal to perhaps replace Javon Walker, who bolted for Oakland.  He made the mistake of signing with San Francisco last year.  He did manage 46 receptions for 497 yards and 3 scores, but he was far more productive in Seattle. 

Samie Parker
Samie is leaving the Chiefs, but staying in the division.  He joined the Denver Broncos passing attack.  Last year he had 24 receptions for 298 yards and a pair of scores.

Duane Starks
The Raiders signed the CB to a one-year deal to bolster their secondary.  He has 25 career INTs.  Last year he didn’t play at all. 

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI

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Tick Tock Tuna

16 April 2008

The NFL Draft is ten days away.  Assuming Miami doesn’t move down (why would you when you have to pay through the nose to sign the top pick) in the draft, they have some options with their first pick.

The Sexy

If they want to inject life into their fan base, they could go with Darren McFadden, perhaps the most electrifying player in the draft, with the 1st pick.  He has been compared to Adrian Peterson, and if he lives up to the high expectations he’ll walk…errr…run away with the Rookie of the Year Award.  It is risky drafting a running back this high though.  Their shelf lives aren’t the greatest.  The also seem to be more prone to injury.  However, they can energize a city.

The Legacy
If he goes #1, hopefully his career doesn’t follow the path of the last Virginia Tech player chosen with the top spot.  If he follows the path of his father, Howie Long, Miami would be very happy.   Improving your pass rush is a big deal.  If you can get pressure on the QB, then the linebackers have an easier job of making plays.  Plus, the secondary doesn’t have to cover their man as long if the QB is forced to get rid of the ball earlier. 

The Logical

If Miami wants to improve, their best best would be to take Jake Long, the behemoth (6’7″, 315 lbs) OT from Michigan. Sure, selecting a lineman is not the sexiest way to use your first pick, but improving your line helps open up the run game and takes pressure off the quarterback, which helps your passing game.  I’m sure Bill Parcels took notice of what Joe Thomas did for Cleveland’s offense last year.  Granted, Cleveland has quite a bit more playmakers on offense, but Joe Thomas was a vital part of the turnaround.  Financially it makes sense because Left Tackles can play a decade or more at very high levels. 

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

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I’ll start with my team since 1984, the New England Patriots.

Tom Brady
Kansas City – Win
@ NY Jets – Win
Miami – Win
BYE – Loss (Way too early for a bye)
@49ers – Win
@ San Diego – Win
Denver – Win
St. Louis – Win
@ Indy – Loss
Buffalo – Win
NY Jets – Win
@ Miami – Win
Pittsburgh – Win
@ Seattle – Win
@ Oakland – Loss, just kidding, Win
Arizona – Win
@ Buffalo – Win

Next, I’ll take a look at the Eagles, who I grew to like while living in the Philadelphia area during the Reggie White Days, and have continued to like them with Syracuse’s Donovan McNabb at the helm.

St. Louis – Win
@ Dallas – Loss
Pittsburgh – Loss
@ Chicago – Win
Washington – Win
@ San Francisco – Win
Bye – Perfect week for a bye
Atlanta – Win
@ Seattle – Loss
NY Giants – Win
@ Cincy – Win
@ Baltimore – Win
Arizona – Win
@ NY Giants – Loss
Cleveland – Loss
@ Washington - Loss
Dallas – Win

Now it’s time to check out the home team Vikings, who I’ve been following for ten years now.

All Day
@ Green Bay – Loss
Indy – Loss
Carolina – Win
@ Tennessee – Loss
@ New Orleans – Loss
Detroit – Win
@ Chicago – Loss
Bye – Great week for a bye.
Houston – Win
Green Bay – Win
@ Tampa Bay – Loss
@ Jacksonville – Loss
Chicago – Win
@ Detroit – Win
@ Arizona – Loss
Atlanta – Win
NY Giants – Loss

Those are my initial thoughts.  It will be interesting to see how they pan out. 

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Friday Tidbits 4/11/08

11 April 2008

Chris Paul dished out 15 assists to go along with his 33 points in a win over New York.  He followed it up with a triple-double vs. Golden State.  He’s making his fantasy owners love him even more as he had 16 assists vs. Minnesota.  Joel Pryzbilla, who had been rebounding like Rodman lately, broke his hand, and will miss the rest of the season.  Stop the presses, the Knick won…twice.  Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, Adrian Dantley, Dick Vitale, and Pat Riley were elected into the basketball Hall of Fame.  Al Jefferson had 40 points for the Wolves, but lost.  Chris Bosh messed around and got a triple-double.

Jarome Iginla scored his 50th goal.  This week’s shutouts:  Philly’s Martin Biron vs. New Jersey & Pittsburgh, St. Louis’ Manny Legace vs. Columbus, Buffalo’s Jocelyn Thibault vs. Boston.  Phoenix’s Daniel Carcillo had a hat trick against Dallas.  Buffalo’s Thomas Vanek had one against Boston.  Buffalo D Teppo Numminen made his return following heart surgery.  Tampa Bay C Vincent Lecavalier will have shoulder surgery.  Montreal will host the 2009 All-Star game.  Keith Tkachuk scored his 500th career goal.  So what if it was an empty-netter.  Dallas signed D Nicklas Grossman to a two-year deal. The Wild’s Nick Shultz had an appendectomy.  Tampa Bay won the top pick in the NHL Lottery.  The Rangers beat New Jersey 4-1 to take the opener.  Pittsburgh beat Ottawa 4-0 to take the 1-0 lead.  Joe Sakic scored the game-winner in OT as Colorado stole home ice from the Wild.  Calgary dropped San Jose 3-2 in the series opener.  Detroit took Game 1 over Nashville 3-1.  Montreal beat Boston 4-1 in their series opener.  Evgeni Nabokov and San Jose shutout Calgary to even the series at 1.  Marty Turco and Dallas blanked Anaheim.  For some moronic reason Washington and Philly haven’t even squared off yet.

Josh Beckett made his season debut.  It wasn’t a pretty one (5 runs in 4-2/3 innings).  Toronto locked up Alex Rios for seven years, $70 million and Aaron Hill for four years, $12 million.  Michael Cuddyer landed on the 15 Day DL with a dislocated finger.  Bill Hall and Chase Utley each hit a pair of HRs on Friday.  Dontrelle Willis walked 7 as Detroit fell to 0-5.  Kelly Johnson, Mike Jacobs, Frank Thomas, Joe Crede hit Grand Slams.  Jake Peavy struck out 8 while allowing just 1 run on 2 hits.  Gerald Laird hit a pair of HRs to go along with his 6 RBI on Sunday.  Ben Sheets fired a shutout.  Ken Griffey, Jr. hit HR #594.  Greg Maddux won his 348th game.  Pat Burrell and Mark Reynolds each blasted 2 HRs on Monday. Arizona signed Chris Young to a six-year extension.  Talk about taking care of business early.  Scott Spiezio got three years probation for drunk driving and hit-and-run.  I have a couple of thoughts.  First, he should have got another year for that awful soul patch.  Second, to be serious, you or I would have served time.  Derek Jeter strained his quad.  Torii Hunter hit a pair of HRs, the second being a game-winning Grand Slam on Monday vs. Cleveland.  Bill Buckner threw out the first pitch for the Red Sox home opener.  He was greeted with a standing ovation.  Rich Harden missed a start because of a sore back.  He’s so soft.  The Mets put Matt Wise on the DL.  Atlanta Brave prospect Jordan Schafer received a 50 games suspension for HGH.  Bengie Molina hit a pair of HRs on Tuesday.  Cliff Floyd (knee) landed on the DL.  San Diego put Michael Barrett (elbow) on the DL.  El Duque (foot) is out indefinitely. Detroit finally won.  Mike Jacobs and Albert Pujols hit a pair of HRs on Wednesday.  Mike Napoli and Jason Kubel hit Grand Slams.  Cleveland signed Fausto Carmona to a four-year, $15 million deal.  It could increase $28 million more over three years if Cleveland picks up his options.

Michael Vick is playing jailhouse football to pass the time.  My crack statistics team reported Vick has a passer rating of 75.7.  Some things never change.  Washington signed Jerome Mathis to return kicks.  Cleveland waived  DB Kenny Wright.  David Garrard signed a seven-year, $60 million deal with Jacksonville.  Overpaid.  The Patriots signed LB Victor Hobson.  The Benglas continued cleaning house by cutting RB Quincy Wilson, who was arrested in June.  San Diego signed S Clinton Hart to a five-year deal. The Jets signed S Kerry Rhodes to a five-year, $33 million extension. 

Kansas knocked off Memphis in OT to win the National Championship.  Mario Chalmers hit a three to send the game into overtime.  He won the Most Outstanding Player Award.  Darrell Arthur was great with 20 points and 8 boards for the Jayhawks.  Earlier Memphis proved everybody wrong (well, most everybody) by knocking off UCLA to go to the title game.  Chris Douglas-Roberts  and Derrick Rose combined for 40 of Memphis’ 68 points.  Chris Douglas-Roberts led the way with 28 points.  Derrick Rose added 25 points and 9 rebounds.  Kansas jumped off to a huge lead, let UNC get within 5, and then pounded them to submission.  Brandon Rush led the charge with 25 points.  One I missed last week:  Ohio State won the NIT tournament.  Mike Montgomery is leaving Stanford for the Cal job.  Dick Vitale earned a spot in the National Collegiate Baskeball Hall of Fame.  Coach K will probably introduce him.  Eric Gordon is going pro.  Joining him is Arizona’s Jerryd Bayless and Chase Budinger, Louisville’s Earl Clark, Florida’s Marreese Speights, LSU’s Anthony Randolph, UCLA’s Kevin Love and Darren Collison, Syracuse’s Donte Greene, Stanford’s Trent Johnson, West Virginia’s Joe Alexander, Texas A&M’s DeAndre Jordan, USC’s O.J. Mayo and Alabama’s Ronald Steele.  Miami signed Coach Frank Haith to a five-year extension.   John Calipari was named the Naismith Coach of the Year.  He didn’t look the part in the closing minutes of regulation on Monday.  Bill Self will stay in Kansas.  LSU hired Trent Johnson as their new Coach.

Penn State won’t talk contract with Joe Paterno until after the season.Florida WR Percy Harvin had heel surgery.  Penn State kicked WR Chris Bell off the team after he threatened a teammate with a knife.  Syracuse RB Averin Colier with miss time with a fractured foot.  Carl Edwards won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Tennessee repeated as Women’s NCAA Basketball Champs.  For Pat Summit, it was her 8th title.

Justin Rose and Trevor Immelman lead the Masters.  Tiger is 4 shots back.  

That concludes the Tidbits. As always feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.

Thanks again for supporting my blog. Be sure to check out My Friends’ blogs. They do amazing work.

Time for the 17th installment of the NFL Free Agent Report.  Click here for a link to earlier reports.

Aaron Glenn
Jacksonville signed the CB to add to their secondary.  He had 15 tackles and an INT, which he returned for a TD, last year for New Orleans.  He has 41 career INTs.

Clinton Hart
San Diego signed their starting Safety to a five-year deal.  He made 85 tackles last year to go along with 5 INTs and a sack.  In three playoff games he made 17 tackles.  His best came in San Diego’s win over Indianapolis where he made 12 tackles and a pick.

Victor Hobson
The Patriots signed LB Victor Hobson away from the Jets.  He had 62 tackles and 2 sacks last year. In 2006 he had 100 tackles and 6 sacks.  He provides some much needed youth to the Patriots’ LB corps.

Kerry Rhodes
The Jets kept their spending ways going by signing their star Safety to a five-year, $33.5 million deal.  He had 68 tackles, 2 sacks, and 5 INTs last year.  He has 10 picks in his three-year career.  He had INTs in four straight weeks (11-14) last year.

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