Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursday Thrashing

I don't want to say the past 48 hours in the NFL were kind of crazy, but suffice to say, it was epic.

  • Peyton Manning has his press conference as the new QB of the Denver Broncos - Even the guy who had his #18 retired by the Broncos said Peyton could still wear it!
  • Roger Goodell handed down an immense penalty on the New Orleans Saints by suspending head coach Sean Payton for the entire season as well as other penalties including assistant coaches suspensions, lost of draft picks, large fines, and Gregg Williams being out indefinitely.
  • After a long afternoon, Tim Tebow was traded (twice) to the New York Jets after nearly landing in Jacksonville as well.
Where do I begin?!

We'll just go in order of how I wrote it.

5 years, $96 million...that's a lot of money for a nearly 40 year old
After missing an entire season due to multiple neck surgeries, as soon as the Colts released him, John Elway said "screw Tebow Mania, I want Manning."  And Manning he got.  Like Boomer talked a little about in his What If Wednesday, it's hard to picture Manning in another uniform.  He single handily brought the Colts franchise and the city of Indianapolis to where it is today.  Denver was his first visit as a free agent and looking back on it, it's obvious it is where he wanted to be.  I think he saw them first and just went to a few other teams seeing if they could top Denver.  So what does this mean to the Broncos?  First, it meant the Tebow era was over.  Elway never just seemed to grasp the idea of Timmy being the franchise guy and all the attention it brought.  I'm sure some of the fan base is alienated at this point but if Manning can be the Manning of old for the next 5 years of his enormous contract, it will be over the top worth it.  The Broncos already were a 1 win playoff team without Manning so I think Denver has a decent chance to be in the same spot.  Against the Chargers, Chiefs, and Raiders, I like their chances to come out on top again because this division is as Jekyll and Hyde as they come.  All 4 of these teams look like Super Bowl Contenders one week and then #1 draft pick eligible the next.  I'm not sold on the Broncos receivers but then again, Peyton can help sub par route runners look pretty decent.  I still hate the Broncos after they beat the then likeable Favre's Packers and my then hometown Atlanta Falcons in back-to-back Super Bowls.  However, I've always been a fan of Mannings and I hope he can at least return to form this upcoming season.

 While the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning are starting a new, positive chapter in their lives, the New Orleans Saints are on the brink of disaster, Katrina style (too soon?).  After being the underdogs everyone fell in love with, Drew Brees is great, because of the hurricane and how the team just brought the city together, now is facing tough times.  NFL Commissioner handed down one of the more severe punishments in NFL history to non-players yesterday.  The Saints, who already failed to sign Brees long term with the franchise tag, are going to be without their head coach all season.  On Twitter, Brees was upset but you have to wonder in the back of his mind if he thinks the 1 year tag will be good to get out of this mess.  Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is out indefinitely because of this bounty scheme.  Listen, I understand where former players are coming from and the culture they describe but to put money on hurting other human beings is something that doesn't belong in sports at any level.  That's better left to the men and women fighting for our basic rights and freedom overseas.  You know, hurting other humans for a cause actually worth it not just to make the highlight reel on ESPN.  Williams should be banned for quite some time and I'd imagine this is a wake up to other coaches who were flirting with the idea.  I like Coach Payton, but I also liked Joe Paterno and Jim Tressel.  Guess what, good people make bad choices.  And when you are on top of your totem pole in your profession, where media scrutiny is always on high, your poor decisions, no matter how few and far between, will define you.  And for these guys, their lack of decision cost them jobs, money, probably their legacy, and for JoePa, it ultimately ended his life.  Goodell's choices have been hit and miss with me but I think this one was good.

Just when I think the Jets couldn't throw the ball any worse, they go and do something like this...
From happy, to sad, to oh-my-gosh-what-just-happened?  Tim Tebow somehow was traded to MY New York Jets yesterday.  The Jets really have been messing with my brain all month and all 2012.  First they crap down their leg and miss the playoffs.  Sanchez was awful  and Rex Ryan was clueless.  The defense that had led them to back-to-back AFC title games got really old, really fast minus Revis.  The locker room became a cancer and Ryan even admitted to losing the pulse of the team.  Last time I checked, that's a doomsday quote from a head coach.  They promised to rid the team of losers including Schottenheimer their offensive coordinator.  I honestly thought maybe they were beginning to figure it out until about 2 weeks ago.  First, they bowed out of the Manning sweepstakes which disappointed me.  Even if I knew Manning wasn't going to go there, a little pursuit wouldn't hurt anyone.  Immediately after that, they signed Mark Sanchez to a HUGE extension even thought he hasn't done anything.  They are now paying him like he's a top 15 QB in the NFL.  But I realize he's young and perhaps a new offense will spark him.  Then yesterday, in a saga too long to discuss here, Tebow is a Jet.  We gave up some lower end draft picks and paid a couple million to get him.  Tony Sparano is the new OC and he basically created the wildcat down in Miami so I get the idea of where this is going.  But if Tebow is your main back up, you have 2 guys who do not throw the ball very well.  I hope this works long term, I really do.  I hate seeing the Jets lose every year.  But March has been kind of interesting to say the least from the front office.  We got another 35 days until the draft so hopefully things will become clearer by that point, but until then, let's hope Tebow doesn't get swallowed up by the city that never sleeps.