14 May 2005, 12:39am by Aaron Schatz
The Sports Economist has the latest on Tom Benson's quest to squeeze every possible penny out of the state of Louisiana before he inevitably moves his team somewhere else. You know, when I read that Benson may move to Los Angeles, I figure, hey, it does make some sense. When I read that Benson is talking about moving the team to San Antonio, well, I'm not quite sure why San Antonio is any better than New Orleans. But when I read that Benson is talking about moving the team to Albuquerque, well, at that point you have to stop taking anything he says seriously.
11 May 2005, 11:00am by Aaron Schatz
Apparently, Minnesota players just love the ganja. So much so, in fact, that it is now reported that Onterrio Smith was caught at the airport with dried urine and a prosthetic device ("The Whizzinator") meant to help people evade drug testing. I repeat, dried urine. This is apparently why Minnesota has to carry five running backs.
08 May 2005, 02:23pm by Aaron Schatz
The long-awaited Tom Brady contract extension has arrived. Normally, the response to a big contract like this is that it sets the market, but frankly this one doesn't set the market. Brady's contract is worth roughly $4 million per year less than Peyton Manning's, and $3 million per year less than Michael Vick's. Not that a $14.5 million signing bonus this year is chump change, mind you, not to mention a $12 million option bonus due next spring. Now Brady can buy some singing lessons before he ever does live television again.
26 Apr 2005, 03:39pm by Aaron Schatz
TMQ has his post-draft recap and off-season commentary before he goes back into hibernation for a few weeks. Only TMQ would notice that pick 126 belonged to six different teams at one point or another: it was listed as Philadelphia from Denver through Cleveland, Seattle, Carolina and Green Bay.
26 Apr 2005, 03:34pm by Aaron Schatz
Here ya go, kids, Dr. Z has his say. Once again, he can't even commit to regular + and - letter grades, instead giving out absurd grades like "A/A-" and a new one, "conditional." What the hell is the difference between "B-", "B-/C+", and "B- (conditional)"?!?!
Ned Macey is putting together the second annual "Report Card on Draft Report Cards" that will compare this and a number of other report cards, we'll have that in a couple days. In the meantime, the Doc likes the Vikings and Cowboys and hates the Broncos and Giants.
25 Apr 2005, 11:31am by Aaron Schatz
The real draft surprise is that Peter King doesn't call up his editors at SI.com and tell them to take their new "let's split the article on multiple pages" policy and stick it where the sun don't shine. It renders this perfectly fine MMQB almost unreadable. I swear, there are points here where it has one paragraph and then tells you to click "Continue Story." Ugh, at least ESPN lets you click on "single-page view" if you know where to find it.
21 Apr 2005, 02:11pm by Aaron Schatz
Somehow between writing and editing chapters for Pro Football Prospectus 2005, I found time to put together this article for ESPN Page 2 on the best one-team draft classes since the combined draft began in 1967. Clearly, I am insane. As I note in the article, I could have just done this as "top Pittsburgh Steelers draft classes since 1967" and the list would have been about as good. Pittsburgh's ability to snag great players with both early and late picks is just remarkable.
20 Apr 2005, 01:49pm by Aaron Schatz
Alan Greenberg of the Hartford Courant on how draft preparation has gone from guys picking college players they read about in magazines to a year-round stew of video study, workouts, staff meetings, and statistical analysis. As Gil Brandt tells it, "Guys would come in with their Street and Smith's football magazine, the Billings Gazette, and a roll of quarters. Reason they had to have the quarters was for the phones, because there were no credit cards in those days."
19 Apr 2005, 01:01pm by Aaron Schatz
Our man TMQ is back with his mock draft that mocks the draft, along with some complaints about basketball and science fiction and the projection of the seventh round. Look out for that run on punters!
13 Apr 2005, 02:47pm by Aaron Schatz
Here you go, the 2005 schedule has officially been announced. I mentioned when this was first posted that the league had set things up so the Steelers would need to beat the Patriots in order to match their regular season record of 18 straight victories. It turns out this is slightly wrong. New England travels to Pittsburgh in Week 3, which would represent Pittsburgh's 17th straight regular season win, one short of the record. Then the Steelers get a bye and, assuming they are 3-0, would try to tie the record in San Diego on Monday Night Football.