Posted on: March 3, 2009 3:47 pm

Off-the-wall Offseason!

We're a month removed from the Super Bowl and the NFL headlines seem to be just as exciting. Why? Because there seems to be as many superstars taking Jets and hiring movers as there are journeyman players this season. Usually, the NFL junkies of the world get one hit in the offseason in the form of a big name player. Favre retires, comes back to the Jets. McNair to Baltimore. A story here and a story there. For someone on the Jones, one good story isn't a good enough fix for the long almost half-year those junkies must go without football.

But this year is quite different. There's almost too many big moves being made to digest. And with the state the economy is in now, the amount of money being thrown around is laughable. However, it just wouldn't be right to rant on the moves...

Matt Cassel, Mike Vrabel traded to Kansas City for 2nd Round Pick
As much as you can commend the Patriots for quietly resolving what could've been a huge quarterback controversy, credit also has to be given to the Chiefs. As much as we've seen from Matt Cassel the best guess on him seems to be that he's a starter-caliber player. Vrabel may not be the linebacker that he once was, but he can still play and his mentoring value is significant. So how much do you pay for a starting QB and veteran linebacker? The Chiefs paid for it with a single second round pick. That's certainly more than I wrote down. Back to the Patriots, kudos to them on avoiding controversy and clearing some cap room. Now even the star-studded Patriots can go into the free agency market with a little spending money.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh signs with Seattle
Yeah, sure, you might scratch your head at this one at first, but put yourself in T.J.'s shoes. Your star QB was out all last season which precipitated a team-wide downfall. Furthermore, the rest of the receiving corps. your in is comprised of a lesser known Henry who, while having enormous potential, has yet to burst onto the scene and the walking, talking clown that is Chad Johnson. Wouldn't you take your first ticket out, even if it was to a team in full rebuilding mode? At least in Seattle, T.J. can know he is the go-to guy and doesn't have to share the spotlight with a guy who seems to be more and more suited to be a halftime show than a professional wide receiver.

Albert Haynesworth signs with Washington
This one looks like it will have to be one of those "wait and see's". Haynesworth could be the most talented player on the market, but going to a struggling Washington offense, his impact remains uncertain. However, the Redskins have made a few other smart moves like resigning DeAngelo Hall. Perhaps one or two more sleepers in the draft, and Washington's defense is on the road to recovery. If they can reattain that Top 5 defense they once had, there will be 4 legitimate threats in the NFC East.

Chris Canty signs with New York Giants
It's almost always a risk when you leave one NFC East team for another. In this case, however, leaving Dallas was probably a smart move for Canty, even if his destination isn't the most desirable for him. The Cowboys are still reeling from the bad P.R. tsunami that was Pacman Jones (No, Adam, you're back to being called Pacman) and many still believe leaving Wade Phillips in power there is an error in judgement. Whatever the deal is, the Cowboys, however good, have struggled to go very far in the postseason in almost a decade, leaving many to believe there is some sort of glass ceiling in Dallas that has yet to be broken. Even if you leave for a conference rival like New York, at least you know a team that has recently gone past that glass ceiling and is never out of the running to do it again.

Posted on: September 27, 2008 9:03 pm

NFL Week 3 In Review (Transcribed from 9/25 post)

I know, it's Wednesday but it has just taken me so long to digest what exactly happened this weekend. The Bills are 3-0. The Patriots were swallowed whole by the Dolphins. Brett Favre played like the last Jets QB. And, no, say it ain't so...Gus Frerotte won a game. If the NFL was in any way like Wall Street, there would be analysts leaping to their deaths right now.
Let's start with Monday night. The last time Favre and Rivers met, Favre showed his legendar status. This time? Not exactly the same story. Rivers was slinging passes left and right, up and down. Favre, on the other hand, slung passes to the Chargers. But it wasn't all Favre's fault out there two nights ago. In fact, I have a bone to pick with his coach, Eric Mangini. Despite how much I wish it were so sometimes, I am, sad to say, not an NFL coach. But I'd like to think I would know what to do in some situations. Like if I was going for a two point conversion and, after three Charger penalties, the ball was exactly 9 inches off the goaline. Would I line up 5 receivers with my QB in the shotgun? No, I don't think I would. And like I said, I'm not even a coach, so Mr. Mangini, why did you do such a thing? I mean, for crying out loud, Brett Favre could've blown the ball over the goaline from where it was sitting!
But Monday night's game was only the awkward period at the end of a very confusing sentence that was the third week in the NFL. The Patriots lost 38-13 to the Miami Dolphins, the team that has won as many game as the Patriots have lost since the start of last year: one. But five Ronnie Brown TD's later, the Patriots looked like they were on the receiving end of the second Boston Massacre (On side note: If you started Ronnie Brown this weekend and picked up those points in your Fantasy League, you should know you have wisdom beyond your years).
So with the traditional dynasties falling left and right, there is however, one prediction holding true: the beast that is the NFC East. I have not seen a more impressive division in such a season in recent history. Two losses among all four teams, and the two losses were within the division. Sure we expected the Cowboys to be 3-0, but the the Giants? And the Eagles and Redskins at 2-1? Based on the way they've played so far, I would go so far as to say if these four teams were spread out through the four NFC division, we would have our four division winners. We knew this year that the NFC East would be a monster division, but this early domination over the league is unheard of.
And while we're talking about impressive divisions, it's just as easy to talk about the unimpressive ones. Say the AFC North? Cleveland's 0-3. Cincy's 0-3. Baltimore has a win, but it came over Cleveland. In fact the only silver lining on this gloomy cloud are the Steelers, and they were handled this week by the Eagles. The Steelers undoubtedly will wint he division but don't expect an AFC wild card out of the remaining three and I don't see the Steelers going very far in the playoffs.
Now don't get me wrong, there are dangerous teams in the AFC. The Colts? No. The Patriots? Not anymore. No, how about the Bills? Or the Titans? Even the Broncos? All three are undefeated and looking to stay that way. But can the three early Cinderellas stay dancing past the stroke of midnight. I wouldn't go that far. The Titans should win their division. I mean, who's going to stop them? The Colts? It doesn't appear that way so far. And the Jaguars and Texans have even less of a chance. But can the Bills finish on top of the Patriots. Why not? So far they have handedly destroyed team after team, while the Patriots squeaked by the Jets and lost to the Dolphins (at home, mind you). Buffalo is fast, sleek, and exciting while it seems like the Patriots have yet to do anything impressively, much less win. So then about the Broncos? They are certainly exciting so far and there is no doubt they have one hell of an offense. They may even pick up a wild card, but I don't see them winning the division. While the Denver is 3-0, San Diego should be. They lost on one good pass to Carolina and they were cheated out of a win with Denver. Now that they're back to their winning ways, I don't see them stopping anytime soon.
So, as the pieces fall, the picture so far looks nothing like what we expected. But it is, of course, only Week 3. We have 14 more weeks to go. The only question is are those weeks going to be ones of normalcy or chaos?
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com