Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Mar 2012

MMQB: Suspensions and Releases

Peter talks Tebow, Manning, bounty punishment, lists 10 free-agent signings he liked, and hands the microphone over to Eric Winston to talk about what it's like to be released.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 26 Mar 2012

83 comments, Last at 03 Apr 2012, 9:32pm by RickD


by tuluse :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:25am

What is it with Baltimore and signing Chicago special teams aces?

by Independent George :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:29am

They're both defense-oriented teams headed by former ST Coaches.

by tuluse :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 11:35am

I don't think Lovie was ever a ST coach.

by dbt :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:16pm

Lovie was always a defensive position coach or coordinator, never ST, but Dave Taub is the straw that stirs the ST drink in Chicago, and Lovie makes all his starters play on ST in one capacity or another. Interesting how year after year the bears ST aces leave and the new guy comes along and makes the pro bowl too. Ayenbadajo, Worrell, Graham...

by Independent George :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:08pm

I stand corrected.

by KL (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:09pm

I find it odd that Peter King thinks Joba's trampoline injury was 1 in 1 million. I thought it was common knowledge that serious broken limbs can happen on those.

by sundown (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:28pm

PK must not have known anybody with a trampoline when he was a kid. I had tons of friends break arms and legs on those things.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:37pm

I'm about the same age as PK (I think he's one year younger), and I didn't know anyone who had a trampoline either. I never used one until high school. I don't think mini-trampolines became popular until the 80's when both PK and I were well into our twenties.

by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:45pm

In his defense, the one-in-a-million may have been referencing the severity of the injury because the initial reports said nearly died. (It's now been announced his life was never in danger.) Also, if you have 100,000 trampolines out there, you'd only need 10 safe outings on each of them to make injuries a one-in-a-million event.

by tuluse :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:03pm
by Southern Philly :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:09pm

He wasn't on the kind of trampoline you put in your backyard. He was at a specially designed facility where the entire room is trampoline flooring and padding. Freak injury.

by AnonymousBoob (not verified) :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 12:52am

No it's not. Those centers are extremely dangerous.


Trampolines are meant for gymnasts and acrobats, not for the general public.

by Dennis :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 11:37am

My son sprained his ankle at one of those places. When we took him to the orthopedist and told him what happened, he replied "yeah, they keep us in buisiness."

by Southern Philly :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 6:24pm

I'm not arguing that getting injured was a freak occurrence. I'm saying that his specific injury was a freak occurrence.

by jebmak :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 2:01am

I cringe every time I drive past kids playing on one.

by duh :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:22pm

King wrote:
I think I never thought the Saints should have their Super Bowl title vacated because of the bounty scandal. No way, no how. Many of you apparently do. But there's no evidence at any level that the bounties won or lost a game for them.

I'd guess that Vikings fans might disagree.

by Sophandros :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:31pm

I think that it's hilarious that King doesn't realize the role that he and the rest of the media played in the manufacture of the outrage of this story, which leads to inane statements like "strip their title".

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by Will Allen :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:56pm

Eh, the Vikings lost for a lot of reasons. Fumbling a lot, or not having slightly better fumble luck. Vikings dbs dropping easy ints. 12 men in the huddle when trying to kick a field goal at the end of regulation. Yeah, if the game had been called like most games, with regard to hits on the qb, the Vikings likely win, given one of Favre's ints came in Saints territory, on a play where the league later said that roughing should have been called. However, it's tough to say that the bounty program definitely increased the amount of illegal hits on Favre. It might be true, but even if it were, the notion of vacating titles over the issue is absurd.

by Peder (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 3:04pm

I'm also a Viking fan and I agree 100% with what you're saying.

by Theo :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 3:43pm

Well obviously, since it's impossible to prove that bounties won or lost games for them.

by Sophandros :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:31pm

"2. Tebow and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, absolutely had a choice on where the Broncos would trade Tebow, despite Tebow's statement that only Denver controlled that. The Jags had a better fourth-round pick on the table than the Jets were offering -- by seven draft slots. The Jags were offering $500,000 more than the Jets in compensation for the advances paid on his contract. But Denver was willing to deal Tebow to either team. And it was a very difficult choice for the young quarterback, because he is from Jacksonville. But the decision made sense. The Jets wanted him more, and would use him more, ostensibly. It's simple."

To make a long story short: Tim Tebow LIED.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by apk3000 :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:44pm

Well, if they did things by the book, Denver didn't actually have to send him there. So...

"You lied."
"I exaggerated."

by Sophandros :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:55pm

Meh. Tebow should be suspended for the season for lying.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by tuluse :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:04pm

Tebow is only operating with partial main power?

by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 8:31am

It's those Klingon crystals.

by Thalwitzer (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:06pm

A Star Trek VI reference? Not verbatim, but I applaud you nonetheless.

by Independent George :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:09pm

Star Trek II, you fool.

by tuluse :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:12pm

I think Kim Cattrall says it in Star Trek VI as well.

by Independent George :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:45pm

Ok, it's possible I've blocked out all memory of Star Trek VI. I think I'm happier this way.

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 6:35pm

Star Trek VI was ok. But if I could block V (and pretty much all the Next Gen movies) I'd be happier.

by tuluse :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 8:16pm

Without Star Trek 5, we wouldn't have this masterpiece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU2ftCitvyQ

by justanothersteve :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 9:16pm

That's not only bad, but it's derivative of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE-1RPDqJAY

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 5:56am

VI is the second or third best of the films, to be honest.

by Lance :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 1:42am

Yeah, I think it's generally agreed that among the "original" films, the even numbered movies (2, 4, and 6) were thought to be the best, with 1 being thought highly of, too. But 3 and 5 were pretty bad, to be sure.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 5:46am

Controversially, I don't think much of IV (I mean, it's funny, but not in any way actually good) while I actually quite like III. V is obviously terrible, but sort of hilarious. I is just an incredibly mixed bag - bits are amazing, and bits are awful, and structurally it's a mess. I've never really got on with any of the Next Gen pictures, possibly because I never really watched the series either. For me, Wrath of Khan is just one of the great science fiction films, and VI and the preboot (XI?) are clearly worse than II but clearly better than any of the others.

by Eddo :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 10:54am

KRAMER: No, no. That's from, uh, Star Trek III... The Search for Spock.

ELAINE: Search... for Spock?!

KRAMER: Yeah, I know Jerry will tell you that The Wrath of Khan is the better picture, but for me, I always...

ELAINE: (pushes him) You doofus!

by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:48pm

It's in the newest Star Trek movie too, in a conversation between Spock and himself.

by mschuttke :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:32pm

FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME PETER KING! (and every other "control the clock" preacher):

The Giants game-plan of controlling the clock was not what you and many others make it out to be.


The game came down to poor third-down conversions for the Bills. If you're going to attribute the win to anything, that was it. The Bills had the same number of possessions that they normally averaged in their previous two playoff games where they scored a ton of points (95 pts. on 21 possessions). That's an average of 10.5 possessions per game and, OH!, wouldn't ya know...they had 10 possessions in that Super Bowl.

by Southern Philly :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:17pm

"The Bills had the same number of possessions that they normally averaged in their previous two playoff games where they scored a ton of points (95 pts. on 21 possessions)."

Actually they scored 88 points, one of the Bills' TD was a pick six.

by mschuttke :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:36pm

The one thing that I think which would be interesting to look at is what led to said 3rd-down situations, specifically, what were the Bills calling more of on (especially) first-down but also second-down. I do not know as of this writing (nor will I have the time to research it and find out) but I wonder if the Bills went against their normal play-call strategy due to feeling "rushed". I honestly doubt it as, especially then, the Bills no-huddle offense they used full-time inherently combats a "shorten the game" strategy. However, there is a psychological component to such strategies that can't be denied and I do wonder if they fell victim to that. As I see it, 3rd down doesn't matter so much if you do well on 1st and 2nd down. Therein, I would want to see what, if anything they were doing differently in this game.

by Scott P. (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:36pm

Okay, did he really have to start talking about "the juice of Tebow" (seriously)?

by mschuttke :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 1:32pm

My mistake...either way though, the point stands.

by bubqr :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 12:54pm

Really enjoyed the Eric Winston part, and that's pretty much it.

by CoachDave :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 4:43pm

I'd love a thread on the league fines on Dallas and Washington for actions in the uncapped year.

I know there are a lot of posters with labor/legal experience in the matter...can we get an XP on it?

Maybe link to Jason Cole's article?



by CoachDave :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 6:03pm

Ah...thank you kind sir.

by Dave0 :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 6:32pm

pretty sure i'm not the only one who read the part about peyton manning's recall and was underwhelmed that it amounted to the world's most prepared quarterback rattling off half a dozen names after two weeks of meeting about his professional future and legacy with those guys, and following up up promptly with a commercial as a favor to his current qb consultant

by John (not verified) :: Mon, 03/26/2012 - 8:58pm

No, you're definitely not alone. As an Indy resident, I've gotten spoiled by anecdotes of Peyton's football IQ, and this definitely isn't a particularly memorable (hah) one.

by Rabbit :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 12:40am

That it took him 5 years to figure out what Belichick was dishing, and to this day remains totally confused by Crennel's D's does not suggest a high football IQ. It doesn't even suggest a kinda bright one.

He's a laser rocket armmed QB with a quick release and possibly better business sense. But I've never got the impression he's a particularly bright football player.

by AnonymousBoob (not verified) :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 12:54am

You're the only one.

by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 12:46pm

I don't think so.

Indy's offense has never been particularly complicated, and has always relied on supreme execution. Those aren't hallmarks of a bright QB.

People seem to talk about Peyton a lot, but I've seen little to no evidence that all his waving and stomping was anything more than the typical audibling that 90% of NFL QBs do.

He wasn't the OC, like some people seem to think.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 1:12pm

Not complicated? Maybe so, but let's for the sake of argument say that you coud read a defence perfectly. Know exactly wher the coverage zones would be, and what the run fits were, you'd only need 10 plays or so to take advantage. Having a complicated playbook on offense is designed to keep the defense guessing, but if you KNOW what their guess will be, why mix in up at all?

TL;DR: Maybe the simplicity of the Colts playbook is proof of Manning being a smart QB.

by Rabbit :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 6:53pm

If it were so simple it wouldn't take him 40 seconds to rattle off a play, which, BTW, is the opposite of what a laser rocket armed QB should be doing.

I'm ok being in the minority here. I feel pretty confident that at this time next year I won't be, except that I won't be saying it was age and injury that caused his regression in 2012, but the loss of Moore, Wayne, Clark, Harrison, Saturday. and a few others I'm not aware of. I suspect Denver will be calling for Elway's head in the end, with the minority asking: 'How do you spend 15 years in this game and not recognize how much of a team sport it is'?

I'd like it to work because I like the Broncos, but I don't see this ending well for Peyton or Elway.

by dmstorm22 :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 2:48pm

That's all nice. Mostly generally accepted as wrong, but nice.

It doesn't change the fact that you in a microscopic minority.

by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 5:17pm

A minority opinion isn't necessarily wrong.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 7:08pm

True, but count me among those who are pretty confident that this particular one is.

by John (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 11:44am

I admit to being shocked that this is a point of contention at all. I really had no idea anyone who followed the NFL had any notion that Peyton wasn't quite intelligent.

I wish I could find it, but my searching has thus far turned up naught: years ago, some magazine broke down in excruciating (nearly second-by-second) detail one touchdown pass against the Broncos, and how it all hinged on one defensive back's foot angle before the snap as read by Peyton.

I also remember hearing how he and Belichick sat down to discuss football one day; it's hard to imagine that conversation went anywhere unless Peyton had a respectable football mind.

by Old Europe Joe (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 12:28pm

Mannings IQ can be measured if we take a look at his Wonderlic score. Unfortunaltely I do not know the result or where to find it.

by John (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 12:38pm

Web search turned it up everywhere; he scored 28, which seems middle of the road for QBs, but above average (20).

by Rabbit :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 1:33pm

That may be a way to determine it, I don't know. My opinion is based on how it took Peyton so damn long to figure out how BB disguised his coverage's, often times with guys 5 or 6 on his depth charts doing the covering. And how to this day he hasn't figured out how Crennel disguises his.

So I personally don't think Peyton is very bright at football. I see that most disagree with that assessment, but whatever.

by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 1:56pm

You realize that even before 2005 (when he first beat a BB-Tom Brady led Pats team) he had three games against the Pats under BB with a passer rating over 100, including a perfect passer rating day. Yeah, he had some bad games, but he had some good ones as well. There's no shame in struggling against one of the best defensive teams of the past 15 years (the early-2000s Patriots).

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 3:44pm

Just like Alan Turing wasn't a smart mathematician - I mean it took months for him to crack the Enigma.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 6:03pm

I hesitate to mention this, but remember that the Patriots were taping signals. It's not going to be easy to fool a defense that knows what plays you're calling, especially when you don't know that they know.

by dmstorm22 :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 6:20pm

The Patriots were taping their opponents defensive signals. So even if the taping meant anything substantial on the field, it wouldn't have impact on their defense stopping the Colts offense.

by BaronFoobarstein :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 6:37pm

Ah, good point.

by RickD :: Tue, 04/03/2012 - 9:32pm


by Dennis :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 11:38am

The section about Ron Erhardt broght back many fond memories of my grandfather ratnting about "that idiot Erhardt".

by MJK :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 1:30pm

King is really underrating Benjarvus Green-Ellis. He says he's not a fan of signing him to a $3M/year contract and says his main attributes are that he catches the ball well and doesn't fumble.

First off, he's not particularly known for catching the ball well (in passing downs, the Pats used Woodhead or Faulk, who they often split out. They never split Green-Ellis out).

Second, "not fumbling" is probably one of the most valuable things a RB can do.

Third, he's not going to run for any homeruns and isn't blazingly fast or elusive, but he has good instincts, always hits the right hole, nearly always makes the right decisions about to cut back or not, and always gains an extra 1-3 yards after contact by staying low and falling forward. I'd far rather have that in a back than the ability to make 10 guys miss and make an ESPN highlight once per game, and lose yardage 50% of the time because he's dancing around in the backfield trying to make another highlight (Laurence Maroney, anyone?)

Add in the facts that he has NEVER fumbled in his career, that he's decent in pass protection (been improving every year), is a decent goal-line back, and has always been used as a committee back so he still has plenty of tread on his tires, and a 3-year, $3M/year contract seems like a discount.

I wish the Pats had kept him. I'm not sold on Ridley or Vareen, and Woodhead will never be more than a change-of-pace back.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 1:42pm

holy macrel. Not a single fumble in 510 attempts? Is this a record?

by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 10:19am

For a career, likely yes. Fumble data is highly incomplete in the pre-WWII period, so there's a chance some old school RBs went longer.

As a streak, no. Ladainian Tomlinson didn't fumble a carry from week 7 of 2006 until week 1 of 2009. (He fumbled a reception in week 4 of 2008) That was at least 830 consecutive carries without a fumble.

by tuluse :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 3:21pm

That seems like an extremely fair deal to me. Maybe even slightly underpaying him.

by Eddo :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 3:46pm

"Second, 'not fumbling' is probably one of the most valuable things a RB can do."
Yes. Though I think it's more valuable to a team like New England or Green Bay, that uses their running game as a low-variance option, than a team that relies more on the running game to drive their yardage totals.

Green-Ellis seemed to be the perfect back for the Patriots' offense, really. He could consistently get two to four yards, and you knew he wouldn't turn the ball over.

by Rabbit :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 6:51pm

I'd disagree with "perfect back" for the same reason King got it wrong: Lawfirm is a wonderful short yardage back but he's pretty useless in a passing scheme, which, when your QB is TB, is not a good thing to be.

by Eddo :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 10:48am

The point is that he's a perfect running back for a pass-heavy team. He doesn't have to be on the field for passing downs, either as a blocker or receiver, because with his skillset, it doesn't matter that the defense knows a run is coming. He was (rightly) used as a low-variance option. Nearly always a positive outcome, along with the clock running, with no big negative plays (turnovers or yardage lost).

by Rabbit :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 1:24pm

I agree with most of that except, again, "perfect RB". A better back would disguise scheme better by not having to come out on 3rd downs.

Even though NE favors a pass happy attack, their offense still runs 41% of the time. It would be favorable to TB in particular and the offense in general if a defense didn't know with fair certainty when a run was called. 63% of Lawfirm's snaps were running plays - that's fair certainty.

That said, since Belichick drafted a 2 down bruiser, in Ridley, and a 3rd down back, in Vareen, I should add that he probably realizes that the entire league knows TB is throwing on 3rd down anyway.

by Anonymous1 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 5:19pm

"Add in the facts that he has NEVER fumbled in his career,"

Why does this keep getting repeated? He's never fumbled in the regular season in the NFL. He has fumbled in preseason. And he has fumbled in college.

Yes, hes still has fantastic ball security, but he has fumbled in his career.

by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 8:49pm


by Danish Denver-Fan :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 3:03am

I, for one, am glad this nit got picked.

by Jim D (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 4:27pm

There was also that game midway through his junior year of high school where he fumbled on his own 10 yard line, but fortunately it was recovered by one of his teammates (I believe it was the left tackle).

by tuluse :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 4:34pm

I heard he fumbled once while playing pop warner too.

And when he was a fetus he never even carried a football!

by John (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 6:47pm

And when he was a fetus he never even carried a football!

That's what they would have you believe. Me, I'm waiting for long-form ultrasound images.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 03/27/2012 - 6:17pm

ridley good runner. Not sure about mind. Maybe smatt guy maybe not. Who knows. Point is guy has good runjing abiloty so if dedicwted togame will be good

by Alex John (not verified) :: Wed, 03/28/2012 - 11:42pm

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