Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mock 2012 NFL Draft 2.0 [Round 1]

Now that we’ve made it through a bulk of Free Agency, it’s time to mock a draft with new team needs.

For the first version: Mock 2012 NFL Draft [Round 1]


1. Indianapolis Colts select:
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
I’m even more certain of this pick than I was before. Absolutely no way Irsay goes for Griffin rather than Luck. It’s a match made in Heaven for all parties involved, especially if Indianapolis is able to find more suitable pieces to help make Luck’s job easier.


2. Washington Redskins select:
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins’ entire fan-base are enamored by Griffin, who has the chance to revolutionize the position and reinvigorate the idea that athletes can play QB, as well as the troubling trends at FedEx Field.

3. Minnesota Vikings select:
Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Vikings need something on offense. While I believe they could easily select Blackmon here and initially was going to scribe his name above, I think they play it safe, solidify the line, and let Ponder make something happen with what they’ve got/acquire later in the draft.

4. Cleveland Browns select:
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
There’s a good chance they could select Blackmon and help make life a little easier for McCoy when he drops back, but Richardson’s a kid who projects to be as close to a 3-down back as you’ll find, and he can contribute in the passing game. We’re talking a Maurice Jones-Drew style back in that he does it all, all the time. He should be able to help the offense out a lot.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select:
Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
The Bucs need a new corner, and they’ve got a chance to continue the trend of grabbing a big, fast, physical guy who can ball-hawk and take it the distance, as well as return punts.

6. St. Louis Rams select:
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
I initially thought about the possibility of sending Jonathan Martin here and establishing the O-Line a little bit, but Bradford needs a target that can be reliable and physical, and also help block downfield in the running game. Not to mention someone who can move the chains and be a threat in the redzone.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars select:
Mike Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
I’m sticking with this pick here no matter what. I think Jacksonville absolutely needs a WR they can be confident in, and I still think Mike Floyd turns out to be

8. Miami Dolphins select:
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
The Dolphins are transitioning to the 4-3, and while Coples is a risk for a variety of reasons, his raw talent alone makes him hard to pass up on. With the right focus in coaching and effort in keeping himself in shape and being healthy, Coples could easily be your next Jason Pierre-Paul.

9. Carolina Panthers select:
Devon Still, DT, Penn State
I still think there’s a possibility they trade this pick with the Chiefs and still get their guy at 11 plus a later-round pick, but I think they’ll be content with just taking Still here and making sure they anchor their D-Line even more with a young, fresh force in the middle.

10. Buffalo Bills select:
Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Barring the Panthers trading their pick away and the Chiefs ending up with Martin at pick 8 as I predicted in the initial mock, the Bills’ are going to get a hell of a steal. Martin has the potential to be the best Tackle in this class in the long-run if he’s in a good situation, and the Bills have an opportunity to give him that spot.

11. Kansas City Chiefs select:
Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Reiff’s stock continues to rise in my eyes. No way do I imagine him going above Martin to teams in need of a LT, but at RT, he’s got all-pro potential. He’ll be a steal for the Chiefs considering a couple teams drafting ahead could definitely use this guy’s talents.

12. Seattle Seahawks select:
Michael Brockers, DL, LSU
Seattle will love this guy being here at 12, as his stock will only continue to rise leading into the draft and could land him at 9 instead, Brockers, who can play all four positions on the defensive line will give Seattle a great boost on defense and elevate the level of play of everyone around him.

13. Arizona Cardinals select:
David DeCastro, G, Stanford
The third Stanford player taken in the first 13 picks of the 2012 NFL Draft, DeCastro is a perfect fit for Arizona's offense and will give the Cardinals a physical athlete on the interior of their line to help make life a little easier.

14. Dallas Cowboys select:
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Dallas needs corners, and they need them bad. Mike Jenkins was literally beat up all year long, and even when he's healthy, he's not a tackler and he commits too many penalties. Kirkpatrick brings Dallas a long-armed corner with speed to keep up with most receivers, and a corner who likes to get physical and hit people. Rob Ryan is going to get his corner this year.

15. Philadelphia Eagles select:
Nick Perry, OLB, USC
The Eagles desperately need a linebacker to make the middle of the field more respectable. Perry showed a good ability to keep up with some good TE's and RB's this season, and he can rush around the edge to put pressure on the passer. I would have given this nod to Upshaw, but I feel he's better utilized rushing the passer, strictly, instead of chasing down TE's like Jason Witten and Fred Davis.

16. New York Jets select:
Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
Upshaw's perfect for Rex Ryan's 3-4, blitz-heavy scheme, and will finally give the Jets the talent at OLB that they've needed to make this defense work. Upshaw's one of the highest players on my talent-board in this draft, and even higher on the potential scale. He'll be an incredible steal here at 16, and would have been an incredible steal anywhere between 6-10.

17. Cincinnati Bengals select:
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
The Bengals have a great set of options here in the draft, but they'll get a solid selection in their secondary in Jenkins. Jenkins will be one of the most watched prospects at CB from this class, but I expect him to perform strong in Cincinnati where his talent in man-coverage will be beneficial.

18. San Diego Chargers select:
Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
I'm assuming the Chargers finally lose Vincent Jackson, and will need to replace him with an electric performer. Wright is a guy who brings a lot to a team, and Rivers will love having an outlet like Wright who can take pressure off of him to stay in the pocket waiting for things to open up down field.

19. Chicago Bears select:
Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia
The Bears need to do whatever they can to get better on the line, and they'll be upset having just missed out on Kendall Wright to elevate their receivers. But Jay Cutler needs to be hit less, and that starts up front, where the Bears have been among the worst over the last 3 years. It will also make life easier for Matt Forte to have a physical blocker like Glenn.

20. Tennessee Titans select:
Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Munchak wasn't pleased with his O-Line, his specialty, and that's telling. The interior struggled the most, especially in the passing game, which is unacceptable. Konz will provide great protection to the QB, and it will give the run game a much needed spark.

21. Cincinnati Bengals select:
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
While I think they could hold out until a later pick to grab LaMichael James, I think they'll go with the second best back in this year's draft here and pull in a guy like Miller who is a little more physical than James but still effective in the passing game. Miller's stock could still rise well above this spot, but I think Cincinnati needs him most, and he'll be a good fit in that offense.

22. Cleveland Browns select:
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
The Browns will look to clone what division and state rival Cincinnati did last year in the draft, and get a dynamic WR/QB combination. While I don't think Tannehill will start immediately, or even for a year or two, the Browns will be hard pressed to turn down the opportunity to pair him up with Blackmon. Tannehill gives you a threat on the ground as well, which should help open up that offense even more.

23. Detroit Lions select:
Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Barron's got a red flag for a double hernia surgery, but he should be prepared to go eventually. Nothing that says a 1st round pick HAS to start their rookie season, every snap. The Lions need a disciplined DB, and one who can tackle. Barron is a violent hitter, but a smart tackler, and he's very disciplined in coverage.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers select:
Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis
I've got to give credit to SBNation for this selection. While I considered throwing Sanu to the Steelers here because of the uncertainty of Hines Ward's future, it's hard to doubt that the Steelers get infatuated with a dominant nose tackle in this draft early. Casey Hampton's not getting younger and the defense looked slow and gave up some rush yards at times, it would be smart to groom your next NT.

25. Denver Broncos select:
Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
The Broncos have a variety of possible selections here, but Kuechly, who will see his stock rise in the next month and a half, will be a great pick for the Broncos. His presence will be for depth purposes initially, but he's talented enough to take away playing time and attack beside Von Miller to shore up the defense a bit more.

26. Houston Texans select:
Jerel Worthy, DE, Michigan State
The Texans will convert Worthy to an OLB to add another pass rusher. He will be in transition, going from a 4-3 to a 3-4, but they will look to do with him what the Redskins have done with Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, also what Dallas was able to do with DeMarcus Ware, whom Wade Phillips is more than familiar with.

27. New England Patriots select:
Fletcher Cox, DE, Mississippi State
The Patriots desperately need more linemen for the 4-3, rather than the 3-4. One of the many reasons this team struggled this year is because the line wasn't made to rush the passer in a 4-man front. Cox is a perfect fit for the scheme, and would be great lining up beside New England's large, dominant tackles.

28. Green Bay Packers select:
Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska
Crick is a big guy who can contribute to a solid rotation at End in Green Bay's 3-4 front. He's also agile enough to make plays vs. the pass, but they'll look mainly to utilize him to stuff the run and make life Hell on Sundays for backs like Forte & Peterson.

29. Baltimore Ravens select:
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
The Ravens will grab another passing threat. Defensively, they're always better than we think them to be. They hung in there with one of the most powerful pass attacks from this season in the Patriots giving the offense chances to ice and win the game. There will be a WR or two gone in Baltimore, so drafting a guy like Sanu, who is an "all-around" receiver who can also block for Ray Rice, would be a favorable pick and possibly a huge steal.

30. San Francisco 49ers select:
Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
The 49ers are going to need a receiving threat to really open the offense up. Crabtree still isn't the WR the 49ers needed him to be, regardless if Alex Smith is at all responsible for that, and the 49ers could lose Josh Morgan in free agency. Randle is a tall WR with pretty good speed and hands, and he could be a big time target in the redzone, where the 49ers weren't great through the air. It would certainly take pressure off of the run game after marching down the field time and time again.

31. New England Patriots select:
Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Dennard's a solid man-coverage corner, who can run with a lot of receivers. New England desperately needs help in the secondary; they'll find it in Dennard. He likes to jam, and if Belichik is as wise defensively as everyone believes him to be, you might have a guy here who can play close to the level of that league's best corner in your own division... MIGHT being the keyword.

32. New York Giants select:
Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
This isn't necessarily a position of need, but I don't really see where the Giants have need other than the offensive line. There are two Tackles on the roster who are up there in age, one who isn't starting, and both could move to guard, which the Giants may need as well. Adams also can play inside, but depth on the line is the best move for a Super Bowl champion, after all, you were good enough all-around to have just won the title in one of the most remarkable playoff runs in NFL history.



Leave a comment or follow me and discuss on Twitter @Sean_Bishop.

*All images Copyright belong to the NFL & nfl.com and the respective teams. No infringement intended.

Song Of The Day (29/03/12)

This song is a cover of an old song, but I really love this version. It's much more modern, and a bit more upbeat. I love the lyrics. My friend told me it reminds her of her relationship, but I think a lot of people can relate to it.

I give you, Alyssa Reid - Alone Again ft. Jump Smokers, enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

NFL Capgate


It’s time to discuss “Capgate” here at Don’t Laugh, People. I had several lengthy rants on Twitter about it when it first happened, when the league made an official statement, and yesterday in regards to John Mara’s remarks regarding the penalties imposed on the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins. Now I’m tempted to bring the rants here in an organized manner.

Firstly, the details; during the uncapped 2010 NFL Season, the Washington Redskins dumped an accumulated $36million from restructured contracts of former DT Albert Haynesworth and current CB DeAngelo Hall. What they did, effectively, was buy room to breathe when the salary cap returned… in essence grafting a wound created by former Redskins’ GM Vinny Cerrato [pictured right]. The Dallas Cowboys did roughly the same, allocating $10million from the contract of Miles Austin to save themselves some room when the salary cap returned.

As I said, the 2010 NFL Season was uncapped, meaning there was no floor or ceiling to acknowledge in spending on team salary. If teams wanted to spend $70million over the “ceiling” that season, they could. Just the same, if they wanted to spend $70million under the “floor” that season, they could. The previous salary cap was terminated that season and following the season, the entire Collective Bargaining Agreement along with it.

What the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins did, was use their money wisely in the allowed fashion with which they were presented, in order to get ahead. Let’s face it, doing something that isn’t against any rules should be fine—it’s not like they were breaking known, apparent rules for years and playing dirty (okay, maybe the Redskins were, but they’re safe from those charges, perhaps the league figured these were enough).

What the NFL did to the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, was simply put – collusion. The league is penalizing these teams for their actions during the uncapped season, using gentlemen’s agreements apparently okayed by 28 teams (the Saints and Raiders were found “guilty” of less monstrous cases, but because of their actions, they won’t be able to share in the $46million like the rest of the league over the next two seasons). So why was the NFL allowed to do this, you ask?

Extortion.

The NFL backed DeMaurice Smith and the NFL Players Association into a corner—telling them that the salary cap would decrease and not increase this year unless the NFL Players Association agreed to the penalties placed upon the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins—and watched as the NFLPA’s “high” standards and morals crumbled. As John Mara said, in the spirit of the salary cap, the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys partook in a loophole (this is funny too, as loopholes need to be exploited) that disturbed the competitive balance of the league.

What’s even funnier is that the NFL thinks and believes that the Redskins and Cowboys exploited a non-existent salary cap, but refuse to count that money towards the invisible cap that was in place in this gentlemen’s agreement. Money that didn’t exist when the cap existed, but still found the Redskins and Cowboys closer to a cap ceiling than it did a cap floor… what’s so interesting about that point?

During the uncapped season, teams like the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, and most notably the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, saved anywhere from $25-70million in spending BELOW the invisible cap floor in hopes that when the league resumed and the salary cap returned, it would feature a lower floor and ceiling, which is collusion against the players, who are entitled to be paid. A lower cap and lower floor means teams don’t have to pay as much and only the players and agents need to adjust to the new market. The Buccaneers, Bills, Jaguars, and other clubs involved in this syphon, were upset to find that there was no decrease to the cap; but found themselves in a wonderful position to spend upwards of a few boatloads of cash to rejoin the ranks of the space between the salary cap ceiling and floor. Oddly enough, the league imposed these sanctions to prevent a decrease in the salary cap this year, so maybe the syphon scheme did pay off after all, just not in the manner they intended. But regardless of all that, there are a couple more facts that I want to bring to the front of the table.

The NFL offices have to approve every contract in order for them to take effect. So the NFL knew what the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys were doing when they did it, allowed it, and now, two years later decided to penalize the clubs. Perhaps even more infuriating is that all it does is make the 28 teams who agreed to the invisible deal look like they had the player’s best interests in mind, whereas the teams who go out of their way to [over]pay talent look like they diminished player-owner relations… and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, I’d also like to take a second to say I hate DeMaurice Smith the most out of anyone in this situation. He’s a coward, and deserves to be tar-and-feathered and run out of the country. In the face of fighting the league and taking information you know is collusion to the proper authorities to reconvene a case you dropped in agreement but have the right to continue with this new information, you folded like the yellow-bellied asshole you really are. One year of giving players what you want them to have, and not fighting for justice to prove that the league IS the enemy of the athletes… that was enough for you to make this decision? Go rot in a shameful Hell.

Both Washington and Dallas have teamed up to file for arbitration against the league (as it’s really their only option if they hope that this leads anywhere). Chances are this will help refuel the NFLPA in their fight against the league on charges of collusion. It’s not apparent if anything will be repaid either club for their losses, but one thing is sure, there will be justice served and Goodell and the owners of the 28 clubs who didn’t participate in the uncapped NFL season will be exposed for the fraudulent, arrogant, smug pricks we already know them to be.

This year, unwelcomed Jerry Jones will not be scowled at so furiously by Washington Redskins fans when he visits FedEx Field with his Dallas Cowboys. Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith, and especially John Mara, better not attend any of the Washington Redskins’ or Dallas Cowboys’ games this season.

I’d also like to state that I’ve twice challenged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his position in the NFL on Twitter, directly to him, the league, and their network. Use the tag #SB4NFLCommish on Twitter in the hopes that we get someone’s attention. Follow me if you don’t already @Sean_Bishop.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Song Of The Day (25/03/12)

I haven't posted up a song in a very long time, but this song made me want to.

It's very rare that you hear a song from a girl about a boy that isn't rude or venting anger on how he did her wrong. It's also very rare that you hear a song from a girl about a boy that isn't extremely sappy and declaring undying love - almost pathetic and needy. I can't say that this song is an intermediate, because she says nothing negative, and she's not declaring her undying love for anyone. She's simply acknowledging that she has a good man, who's always by her side. Fair enough that man may be God, but women in relationships with wonderful men who are always there, may also relate to this.

Also.. She has an amazing voice.

I give you, Emeli Sandé - Next To Me, enjoy!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stargazing


I’ve always appreciated the opportunity to stare up at the stars. In Maryland, there’s a lot of surrounding light pollution that makes celestial sightseeing a major hindrance. It’s still possible to see the usual suspects in the night sky, but there’s nowhere near enough to really draw you in and get lost. My favorite thing to do when stargazing when the sky isn’t polluted is to try and count every single star I can see. It’s humbling, and one of the most peaceful places I can take myself.

My first trip to Tennessee with my family offered a great viewing of the stars. Natural Tunnel was where we would stay. Up the hill was a playground and a field, and laying on the basketball court with my cousins, we’d get lost staring at the sky and the vast depth of space and the millions of stars visible to the naked eye in just that perceivable view within the horizon. Any one section of space revealed more stars than you could count in a night.

In my two years in Louisiana, anytime I was out at night I made an effort to get lost in the stars. We were far enough away from any sizeable city in Louisiana, and far enough from Texas cities like Houston and Beaumont to not be denied by light pollution. I often found myself stepping outside late at night when I couldn’t sleep to spend some time stargazing. There were times I even joined my grandmother in silence just to escape.

When I stargaze, I’m humbled simply by how inferior we are. I consider the perception of how big the stars really are, how small our planet is, and how much smaller we are than our planet. I also zone out, entirely—so much so that if I knew any better, I’d consider myself deaf when doing it.

Being back in Maryland again, I miss the stars. I miss the escape to serenity, as I don’t necessarily have one here. I really want to take a trip for a week down south somewhere away from the cities and lay on the hood of my car and get lost looking at the stars.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Peyton Manning Agrees To Terms With Denver Broncos

We, along with all of the sports world [presumably], have been keeping a close eye on Quarterback Peyton Manning in Free Agency as he has pursued the next chapter of his NFL career.

Today, March 19, 2012, Peyton Manning, formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, has agreed to terms and is finalizing his contract with the Denver Broncos.

Manning had been courted by the Broncos, Tennessee Titans, and the San Francisco 49ers in his free agency run. As soon as Manning met with the Broncos, they became a front-runner in most people's minds.

Reports have all suggested that Peyton Manning has been throwing well in workouts for teams, and the Broncos have a good, talented, young core of players and Manning will likely have the option to negotiate for a player or two with whom he is familiar.

Denver may be competitive with a QB of Manning's stature, who is clearly good for 10-12 more wins than the entire rest of his roster on any given year as evidenced by the Colts' performance without him compared to with.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Washington Redskins Gave Up Too Much?

In the aftermath of the huge trade where the Washington Redskins acquired the #2 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft from the St. Louis Rams, plenty of people are implying that the Redskins gave up way too much for a 4-spot jump in the draft.


That’s misconception #1 I’ve seen—the Redskins gave up four draft picks—and it is the main reason nobody doubting this trade makes any sense whatsoever. The Redskins didn’t give up 4 draft picks; they gave up 3 and swapped 1.

Now for the price that was paid in the deal. The Redskins swapped their #6 overall pick for the Rams’ #2 overall pick. They traded away the second-round draft pick in this year’s draft, the first-round selection in 2013, and the first-round selection in 2014. People have said it’s the most given up since the Herschel Walker deal…

That’s misconception #2 I’ve seen—the Redskins traded away more than anyone since the Herschel Walker debacle—and it is the second reason why nobody doubting this trade makes any sense whatsoever. When the New Orleans Saints traded for the right to draft Ricky Williams, they gave up an entire draft, literally. Last year, the Atlanta Falcons gave up nearly an entire draft for the rights to select Julio Jones, a need that they didn’t have and that proved not to be of any worth anyways.

For reference, the New Orleans Saints got 3,000 yards out of Ricky Williams in 3 seasons with the team prior to trading him away to the Miami Dolphins. That’s good production; however, the Saints didn’t manage to get production in the only statistic that matters—winning.

The Atlanta Falcons traded for the right to acquire Wide Receiver Julio Jones, expressing the belief that was their only need, despite the facts pointing to the contrary that defense and assistance in the run game in relief of Michael Turner would need to be the focus. In the playoffs, the proof was in the pudding for the latter: Michael Turner was shut down, Matt Ryan crumbled with all the pressure on his arm alone with all the weapons in the passing game at his disposal, and the team couldn’t score any points on offense, let alone get in position for a field goal. They finished their playoff game against the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants with two points [a defensive score] on a safety.

The Washington Redskins have struggled to find a franchise quarterback [literally forever, but especially] during the Dan Snyder era. It has been the Achilles heel. Nobody selected to play the role has been the guy, particularly because the Redskins haven’t been in position to grab the guy because they’ve always been just a little better than the worst. Now they’ve got a chance to grab their guy, and hopefully he’s everything they need in a QB and not as bad as everything they’ve had.

Robert Griffin III provides the opportunity to open the offense back up, to score points, to control the game, and to not turn the football over and cost the team opportunities to put points on the board, and also keep the defense fresh. What he also provides is the opportunity to win those close games and win enough of them to get into the playoffs; this is where things get interesting.

If the Redskins are able to make the playoffs this season and next, the first round picks the St. Louis Rams acquired turn into, at the best, 20th overall. Picks 20-32 in the NFL Draft rarely tend to land superstar players, rather role players who compliment the superstars.

Now, even considering that, the Rams will likely still have earlier picks anyways, which could land them superstars… and that brings me back to the article I linked to posted at the Bleacher Report by Jack Gorman. Notice the swayed reporting calling RG3 a potential franchise QB, while saying the Redskins essentially traded away 4 superstars. Why do those guys get called superstars already while RG3 is only labeled with potential? Don’t sway, Jack.

I recently saw numbers suggesting that 33% of first-round picks end up being superstars, 33% end up being average players, and 34% end up being busts, at least with the team that drafts them. So here the Redskins are, hoping they’ll land their superstar while trading away an average player and a bust.

Now, did the Redskins give up too much? Whether RG3 is great or not, no. Mike Shanahan drafted 12 players last season after starting the draft with only 6 picks. They’ve still got 7 selections this year, and 7 next year. Chances are he’ll get even more. It’s also worth noting that Mike Shanahan’s best work in the NFL Draft comes in rounds 3-6, where he strikes oil and finds gold with the majority of his picks in the mid-rounds of the draft. I’ll argue, and win, that he’s the most successful coach at drafting good-to-great talent in rounds 3-6 of all time.


Then also consider that last year’s second-round pick of DE Jarvis Jenkins resulted in season-ending injury in the preseason, so his return next year is the equivalent to the loss of this year’s second-round pick. In the end, it will take until 2014 to know what the Redskins really lost. For now, we can only guess whether it was too much or not. But regardless of what those picks end up being, all that matters is if RG3 ends up being the guy the Redskins want and need, or if he doesn’t. That’s the only measure of if he’s worth it or not.



Jack Gorman, or anyone else, feel free to leave a comment or discuss on Twitter (@dontlaughpeople, @Sean_Bishop).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Major Changes

Starting today and through the next couple months, we'll be making plenty of changes, both personally and for Don't Laugh, People. Once again, I hate to say these things without informing you exactly what is planned, but I ask you trust me to make good on this as I did with the layout as that finally came in a timely manner when I updated you last.

One thing I can fill you all in on is that on Saturday, March 17, I will be releasing Version 2 of the Mock 2012 NFL Draft [view Version 1 here], updated with the recent Redskins/Rams trade and after seeing a few Free Agents on the move, so be on the lookout for that.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Washington Redskins, Rams Complete Trade, RG3


It was announced late Friday, March 9, that the Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams had agreed to a trade sending the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft to the Redskins. In return, the Rams will receive the Redskins’ 6th overall selection, 2013’s 1st round pick, and 2014’s 1st round pick as well as a [year unspecified] 2nd round pick.

Wespeculated that Washington and St. Louis already had a handshake deal in place. I told a few fans on Twitter on Thursday that I believed the deal was as good as done and St. Louis would likely just want to call us up first to make sure we still wanted to make the offer. Having been ruled out of the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, the Redskins pursued harder to get the deal done.

With the 2nd pick, it’s widely accepted the Redskins, in need of a quarterback and a quarterback being the sure 2nd best talent in the draft, will select Baylor QB Robert Griffin III. Again, I also speculated that the Redskins at the combine crowded RGIII due to the knowledge that a handshake deal was already in place.

The Redskins also have an immense amount of cap-space, a lot of young weapons on offense who will grow into their own, especially if Griffin proves to be a sure talent as many would assume he is. The Redskins’ most glaring need of the last 20+ years has been quarterback. Last season, the Redskins were hanging in games with Rex Grossman and his minimum 2 turnovers a game. Griffin’s talents are about as unique as you’ll ever find, and he may very well be the most dynamic and athletic quarterback the NFL has ever seen.

Griffin also fills many crucial needs. He will be a face of the franchise of whom all fans can be proud. He will draw the casual fans back into FedEx Field. He will be the quarterback of the future who can make the transition from Mike Shanahan to Kyle Shanahan when it happens all the more easy.

Of course, we’re still assuming that Griffin becomes a better-than-good quarterback. But this is the type of move that Redskins fans have been praying to have happen, and the type of move the Redskins have not made in the Snyder era. This move is a move of hope for the fanbase, who have been unified in their hopes of landing RG3. Anything else would have been a disappointment for fans of the Burgundy and Gold.

So on this day, we Hail to the Redskins. Hail victory. We’re all braves on the warpath. And we will fight for ol’ DC!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Should The Washington Redskins Pursue Peyton Manning?

My how things can change. A year ago, we didn't think Peyton Manning would ever play anywhere but the Indianapolis Colts. Yesterday, we found out he was released.

A few weeks ago, I considered the risk and reward of Peyton Manning coming to the Washington Redskins. Today, I feel more confident than ever in saying no.

Looking at it from the logical side of things, if Peyton Manning is healthy, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this guy. He elevates the level of play in every single player on your team. You owe it to yourself to sign him and let him work his magic.

But on the even more logical side of things, Peyton Manning to the Redskins makes absolutely no sense. Sure, you can pitch a good defense, a couple WR's you can grab in Free Agency, and a running game that ripped off big yards at the end of last season to alleviate pressure. You can sell this team to Peyton Manning that we were close with Rex Grossman and his minimum 2 turnovers per game. The same Rex Grossman who had horrible release and made ill-timed decisions to launch it up. You can even sell this system to Peyton as it's not all that dissimilar to Peyton Manning's system.

What I don't buy into is that it would be a move made for football reasons in this rebuild. We tried with the old vet, and while a Peyton Manning 50% healthy would be infinitely better than a 100% healthy, 45% committed Donovan McNabb, it's not the move the Redskins need to make with the dedication to this new formula we're working on.

Last year the Redskins wowed people with their miracle working in the NFL Draft, and turning this team from one of the 5 oldest to one of the 5 youngest, almost overnight. This year, that trend needs to continue, and not for roster's sake, and not even for performance sake. That trend needs to continue because the future is now, and now is the future.

A Peyton Manning signing would suggest to me that Dan Snyder cannot keep his money-grubbing hands out of the pot in the NFL, which is what we all agreed was the problem and what we all agreed needed to change.

Mike Shanahan has three years left on his contract. I don't believe these are Mike Shanahan's final three years coaching, win or lose. I believe that Mike does, however, devote himself on making the Redskins long-term winners, and not the 3-4 years Peyton Manning is going to offer. Mike Shanahan isn't just getting a quarterback for himself this year, he's getting Kyle Shanahan his quarterback of the future, and that means 10-15 years down the line, not 1 year at the start of Kyle's own head coaching gig, lost in the shuffle of mid-to-late round picks to not find his own superstar QB.

This year, the Redskins have a chance to find Kyle's superstar quarterback who will be fully developed into a machine when Kyle takes over as head coach of the Washington Redskins and Kyle will not have to worry for a long time whether or not he needs to find another quarterback. That superstar quarterback is waiting in the NFL Draft, likely at #2. That Superstar quarterback is not Peyton Manning.

Now, I'm not suggesting the Redskins cannot have both, they have the money, the means, and St. Louis won't turn down Mike's offer just because we have Peyton Manning acquired in free agency. $100M (or draft picks in this case) is still $100M regardless. However, that move alone is illogical. Do the Redskins have to at least pursue Peyton Manning? Of course. Who wouldn't? But do the Redskins need to sign Peyton Manning? My answer is simply - no.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Peyton Manning Officially Released By The Colts

It comes as no surprise or shock to anyone. A year ago, had we heard the rumor of Peyton Manning never being the Quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts again, because of a release, we all would have laughed at the idea. Even in the age where Brett Favre, fresh off of an appearance in the NFC Championship game (albeit playing God with his retirement games) was shipped off to the New York Jets, Peyton Manning not being an Indianapolis Colt didn't seem like it would ever be a reality.

Today, March 7, 2012, Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning held a press conference to officially announce that the team would not be paying Peyton Manning's bonus, meaning they'd officially be cutting ties with arguably the greatest player in the league.

Peyton Manning has undergone 3, maybe 4, neck procedures in the past 19 months. Speculation of him retiring crept up regularly until recent reports from doctors familiar with Manning's situation reported that he was recovering and cleared for contact in football. Manning was waiting on strength in his arm and neck to return, depending on the fat around his nerves to regenerate. A recent video claims to have caught Manning throwing the long ball and having some velocity on his throws, made things very interesting last week.

Manning's release makes him possibly the most coveted free agent of all time, especially if he's healthy.

In an emotional address at the press conference, Manning choked back, and let flow, tears as he addressed Colts fans, thanking them and telling them he loved nothing more during his career than playing for the fans. The announcement we've all expected for months now, not surprising or shocking, is still unbelievable. It's surreal now that it is real. A bad dream to anyone who has watched football during Peyton's career. Peyton Manning will always be the franchise quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. Even if he goes on to win 2 or 3 more consecutive Super Bowls for another franchise, or decides he just wants to hang up the cleats tomorrow, that fact will never change. Peyton Manning is Indianapolis, and the Colts are Peyton Manning.

Once the dust settles this week and teams make their move and someone lands Peyton Manning, it will only become more surreal. But when Manning takes that first hit, completes that first pass, lights up the scoreboard, and wins a game, we'll settle in knowing that Manning, like Favre, isn't known by his organization, but that he simply is Peyton Manning, and that won't ever change.

Speed Bumps

Are not called complete stop bumps!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Franchise Tag Deadline News

Monday's 4 PM EST deadline for NFL teams to tag players proved to be active. This is a big deal for a lot of fans around the league who may have wanted to see certain players moved into their city.

Monday's deadline saw the Green Bay Packers skip on tagging anyone, particularly soon-to-be-high-paid Quarterback Matt Flynn. The San Diego Chargers refused to tag Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson. The Pittsburgh Steelers opted not to place the franchise tag on Wide Receiver Mike Wallace, potentially leaving them in trouble if Wallace walks in Free Agency.

The Buffalo Bills re-signed Wide Receiver Stevie Johnson to a long-term contract prior to the deadline, without having to designate him a franchise player. The Kansas City Chiefs placed the franchise tag on highly touted Wide Receiver Dwayne Bowe, who I was hoping would have hit the market. The Dallas Cowboys tagged Linebacker Anthony Spencer after deliberation and failed contract extension talks. The Detroit Lions tagged Defensive Lineman Cliff Avril. And the New England Patriots placed a tag on Wide Receiver Wes Welker.

Perhaps the most notable tag of Free Agency was the New Orleans Saints tagging of Quarterback Drew Brees. Tagging Brees and the cost fit in right around what he is worth. Rumors suggested that Brees was asking for far more in his contract at a figure that would have bodyslammed Peyton Manning/Tom Brady's record deal(s). This sounds more like the Saints being able to agree to terms with Brees and knowing they were far apart, choosing instead to settle on the tag. Had Brees been given this money in a contract, it could have been structured to be cap-friendly, helping New Orleans retain at least one [if not both] of their free agent Wide Receivers Marcus Colston & Robert Meachem. With the price they're paying Brees (a price that COULD elevate depending on Peyton Manning's upcoming situation, there's a chance that one, or both could walk next week when Free Agency begins.

The Washington Redskins have 4 very good WR's on the market right now to pursue in Vincent Jackson, Marcus Colston, Robert Meachem, and Mike Wallace. There are a few other names that will hit the market, but these four are the most notable and will more than likely garner the most interest and command the highest contracts. The Skins, theoretically, have the cap space to sign any combo of 2 of these guys, but any one would come as a major support to whoever is starting at Quarterback for the Redskins in 2012.

Mike Shanahan is very familiar with Vincent Jackson, having coached against him twice a year for over half of the last decade. Marcus Colston is probably the leader for me in who I most want here in Washington. When Colston missed time, the Saints struggled to replace his production with other WR's, whereas anyone the Chargers plugged in during Jackson's absence filled the void. Jackson has also shown signs of being a diva and/or quitting on plays when he didn't think he was the primary option. If that's what you want out of a Wide Receiver, Randy Moss will be available for cheaper.

Mike Wallace and Robert Meachem are two in the same in my opinion, and neither a legit #1 option. However, either of them paired with Colston or Jackson along with Hankerson & Gaffney already in place could be a real threat in Washington, especially considering the top-end speed both of these guys would bring to the field to wear defenses down and open up the game for other receivers.

Regardless of which of these guys the Redskins pursue, I'd believe it's in their best interests to go after a combo of any 2 of these guys rather than just any 1, but definitely get Colston or Jackson if you can.

Other notable free agent wide receivers:

Reggie Wayne & Pierre Garcon of the Indianapolis Colts
Laurent Robinson of the Dallas Cowboys
Mario Manningham of the New York Giants
Plaxico Burress of the New York Jets

Friday, March 2, 2012

Washington Redskins Franchise Fred Davis

The Washington Redskins have used the franchise tag on TE Fred Davis.

It was speculated for several weeks that Davis would earn the tag.

Davis, coming off of the 2011 season which saw him post career highs of 59 catches for 796 yards, and a massive 15 plays of 20+ yards, in only 12 games, will be paid $5.4M for the 2012 season unless he and the Redskins can agree to a long-term deal.

Davis was suspended the final 4 games of last season for failing the league's substance abuse policy during the lockout and early in the season on additional tests. Another violation of the policy could result in Davis being suspended an entire season, a risk many feel is too great for Davis to earn a long-term deal that isn't incentive laden rather than guaranteed money upfront.

But Davis' talents draw high praise from head coach Mike Shanahan, who has said he believes Davis is genuinely apologetic and remorseful for his actions, and will follow the correct path to ensure it never happens again.

This marks the first time the Redskins have used the franchise tag on a player since Champ Bailey in 2004, just before Joe Gibbs traded him to the Denver Broncos, then coached by Mike Shanahan, for Clinton Portis.

Leave a comment or follow us on Twitter (@Sean_Bishop, @dontlaughpeople) and discuss.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

U.S. Announces Diplomatic Breakthrough With North Korea

The United States announced a diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea Wednesday.

Under an agreement reached in direct talks in Beijing last week, North Korea has agreed to allow the return of nuclear inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, and has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile tests, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities, the State Department said. In return, the United States will provide North Korea with a large food aid package.

"To improve the atmosphere for dialogue and demonstrate its commitment to de-nuclearization, the DPRK has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile launches, nuclear tests and nuclear activities at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a press statement Wednesday. "The DPRK has also agreed to the return of IAEA inspectors to verify and monitor the moratorium on uranium enrichment activities at Yongbyon and confirm the disablement of the 5-MW reactor and associated facilities."

Read More on Yahoo!

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North Korea giving up on Nukes? Washington FINALLY sending food aid. Are we on our way to peace with North Korea finally? My best guess? Probably not.