The Giants are doing their “voluntary” off season workout program, and 59 of the current roster players are in attendance. Osi Umenyiora is confident that his knee is close to 100%. He was also sure that his teammate Plaxico Burress would return to the Giants after getting probation. Guess that one went out the door with the last gasp of winter. Burress was released after he won his case against the Giants to recover his withheld roster bonus of one million dollars (think Mike Meyers’ Dr. Evil when you hear that).
General manager Jerry Reese has not yet made a major attempt at signing a receiver in free agency, but will certainly address that in the draft. The Giants had college prospect Percy Harvin in for a workout last week. But there have to be other names on the radar. One such name should be Cal-Poly’s Ramses Barden before the Super Bowl no one even knew who he was except for a handful of scouts. Barden is the only receiver in this draft at 6’5″ or above (6’5-1/2″-229lbs) and while he is still a bit raw, he has the potential to go a long way in the pros. We wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Barden heard his name called mid to late on day two of this year’s draft. The other is Rutgers’ WR Kenny Britt. I’m not so totally sold on Mr. Britt. Although he is 6’4″, he only weighs about 212 pounds, hardly someone who can out muscle larger defensive backs over the middle. He can jump, but would need to learn the mechanics of the “Jump Ball” game in the end zone. Another option is Browns WR Braylon Edwards.
The NY Jets never seem to be happy with what they already have. If they feel that Kellen Clemens will never run the Jets Offense on a regular basis, try trading him for the extra draft pick. Then people will take you seriously when you say you need a QB. Until then, people only see the Jets as further behind the Giants in PSL sales.
I’m not so sure they were ever seriously considered a factor in the “Jay Cutler” Saga. The three way deal between the Broncos, Titans, and the Jets was talked about for all of five minutes and then dismissed at least on NY sports talk radio.
Up In Buffalo, Terrell Owens has already missed a “voluntary” off season work out with his new team of choice. So I ask you, is this the way to start off on the right foot with your new team and coaching staff? I would thing you’d want to do everything you can to show the people of upstate NY that you’re happy to be there. Sure the workouts are “voluntary”, but it is also “strongly suggested” that players attend.
Down I-95, the Eagles’ QB Donovan McNabb isn’t too happy that so many veteran players are leaving. One media vet tells us that it’s been building up to this for years due to poor management on the part of the Eagles front office. You have to feel bad for Donovan because he puts his heart and soul into trying to make the Eagles a winner. It’s shameful that the front office won’t give them the tools to do so.
Some of the area college programs have already released their schedules for 2009. The Liberty Cup match-up between Fordham University (Patriot) and Columbia University (Ivy) is sure to be hotly contested as always. Columbia’s Head Coach Norries Wilson is one of the hardest working coaches to grace New York City’s college football scene in some time. He also gives a great post game press conference no matter what the outcome of the game, and always has a high quality of Insight into all phases of the game. As a college player, Coach Wilson played in two bowl games at the University of Minnesota as an offensive lineman. Fordham’s head man Tom Massella has been around winning football for years, and while the Rams had a tough 2008, they were the 2007 patriot league champs. Both teams also work hard on the recruitment front each year. Circle your calendars for September 19th at 6pm at Fordham’s Jack Coffey field.
The NFLPA elected a new executive director 3 weeks ago named DeMaurice Smith. Mr. Smith is a talented litigator, but has no other football related experience other than being a rabid Redskins fan. So maybe there is some truth to the story that the election may have been “jerrymanded” by player association lawyers Kessler and Berthlesen. At least one retired player who is part of the suit against the NFLPA to recognize the lack of health care benefits to retired players believes it is true, and has gone on record to anyone who will listen. There is even another story that the 28.1 million dollar settlement will be reduced by 50% to the players.
As comedy man Yakov Smirnoff says, “What a country this America is.”