Joe Flacco Contract Grade – 7 out of 10 Favres

Joe Flacco’s extension as reported by Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun lowers his cap hit for next year from $28.55 million dollars to $22.55 million dollars with $40 million in new guaranteed money.  This is getting a 7 out of 10 Favres.  Not because it’s a bad move, it allows them to build more of a team around Flacco, but because of how exasperated Ozzie Newsome had to be with Joe Flacco by now.  Rather than being a retirement PR nightmare that kept Aaron Rodgers on the bench, Joe Flacco has been a contract nightmare along with his agent that has kept a super bowl run out of reach. It’s really, really hard to build a great team around an expensive player, unless that player is a future Hall of Famer.  And I don’t think Flacco will ever make it into the Hall of Fame.  The good news is he can go deep, and deserves to be paid more than Jay because of his Super Bowl win.


Sam Bradford Extension Grade

Conor Orr of reports that Sam Bradford has signed a two-year extension worth $36 million dollars with $26 million guaranteed.

Sam Bradford Contract Grade – 11 out of 10 Albert Haynesworths

While not a bad deal financially for a quarterback that managed to stay mostly healthy for the first time in a long time can you feel the despair coming from Philadelphia?  It’s over 3000 pounds of Albert Haynesworth’s contracts coming down on you.  Ouch.  That sounds incredibly painful.  Bradford is getting the contract Jay Cutler should have gotten.  Kudos to Philly on getting the stopgap contract right.  However, he won’t take you to a Super Bowl.

Update: On second thought. Philly’s best chance to win is to trade for Jay and put Tebow at running back.


Tag Tuesday – Weighing the Consequences

As reported by Gregg Rosenthal of here, this year’s franchise tags are in.  Here’s a quick overview with some thoughts on the 10 tagged players of 2016.

Alshon Jeffery did not have a good year.  He was often injured, but played well when he was healthy.  However, he had back to back 1000 yard years prior to this season.  It seemed the lose of Brandon Marshall did not effect the Jeffery as much as expected.  Hopefully Chicago is able to work out a long term deal soon.  If not, Kevin White had better prove to be the greatest wide receiver in Bears history.

Josh Norman‘s tag was pretty predictable.  He developed into a great corner this year, and the secondary is a key to success when your divisional rivals quarterbacks are Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Jameis Winston.  If Carolina can work out a long term deal with him than all the better.  Ron Rivera was an ’85 Bear after all, so I can’t hate on this decision.  But…

Justin Tucker seems to be a futile franchise tag use.  He’s a good kicker, but is he franchise tag material?  As you can see here on Spotrac, unless the Ravens wanted to sign their Long Snapper Morgan Cox to the franchise tag they really didn’t have anyone worthy of the tag.  You could make an argument for Courtney Upshaw, but it seemed to be too high of a price for him.

Muhammad Wilkerson being tagged only destroys one more of my fantasies about whom the Bears should sign during free agency this year.  Good job Jets.  You got a great defensive lineman…now can you trade him?  Maybe for David Fales?  Sounds fair right?

Buffalo is doing the right thing resigning their line and tagging Cordy Glenn. Who knows what the Dolphins are thinking tagging Olivier Vernon, if he doesn’t sign elsewhere he’ll be a good player for Adam Gase’s new team.  Von Miller is Von Miller.  Simply put Miller is one the best pass rushers I’ve ever seen play the sport.  Trumaine Johnson doesn’t make much sense, but then again the Rams have to face the vicious 49ers passing game twice a year… Good for Eric Berry, while it seems like a great storyline (and it is), his presence will help any team mature, and a hard hitting safety is one of the most fun players in football to watch.  And we’ll see about Kirk Cousins while everyone has him pegged to be a great player, I’m not sold.  We’ll see.  I’m more interested to see where RG3 lands honestly.

And that’s it for the franchise tag!  Stay tuned free agency starts next week!


1500 Yard Penalty on Me for Unsportsmanlike Bragging

Oh the fantasy football offseason. A time to obsess with stats and look over my great work from a season ago. I won the 8 team league I’m in with my family and the 10 team league I’m in with some college friends. Hell, I even won some cash playing daily fantasy.

So what have I been doing with myself? Playing madden. Checking out football cards for the first time. Playing piano. And most importantly starting a blog which will result in a 1500 Yard Penalty against my teams.

I’ve really just been looking to have a good time. And I’m happy to report that’s what this blog is. Nothing more and nothing less than me having fun with my favorite sport, football. You won’t see combine news here because who cares? The pundits will create storylines and then be astonished that only Jerry Jones and Jimmy Haslam have the guts to listen to their bad decisions.

That being said I plan on offering daily analysis of many free agency signings and I’ll talk about the draft. And some combine numbers. Because Trufant McBiggles running a 3.8 40 is super impressive. Almost as impressive as Miller Fitzfigs benching 59 reps. Seriously. It could happen. Those names now have traction. Almost as much as my car’s bald tires. I bet Al Davis’s ghost is already on the phone to verify my phony numbers. He’s going to draft these guys so high they’ll go in round 0. Round 0 a mythical place where legends like Larry Dickman and Cinderella Biggums were drafted.

Since all retirements are graded in Favres stayed tuned to see what draft picks and signings will be graded in.

NFL Retirement Grades

Jared Allen – 10 out of 10 Favres retirement rating

I don’t think I’d started my blog when Allen announced his retirement. Riding off into the sunset is a great way to go out. Truly deserving of a 10 out of 10 Favres rating. I was never a huge fan, but he was a great player until Chicago signed him.

Peyton Manning – 4 out of 10 Favres

With camp Manning deciding that they haven’t made a decision I’m bumping this up to 4 out of 10 Favres. He’ll get 10 out of 10 if he doesn’t retire. Hopefully he’s drinking a lot of beer.

Marshawn Lynch – 5 out of 10 Favres

I know it didn’t happen this week, and it was fairly classy. 5 out of 10 Favres. Everyone saw it coming.

Justin Tuck – 2 out of 10 Favres

Good player, but not very dominant of late. He probably waited one season too long.

Heath Miller – 4 out of 10 Favres

Decent tight end and surprising until you see that he was approaching his mid thirties.

Jerod Mayo – 6 out of 10 Favres

Surprising even if his last few seasons have been quite injury plagued. Patriots are losing a good player.

Jon Beason – 1 Out of 10 Favres

I can’t remember the last time he was healthy. I’d certainly rather not play by choice than by injury.

Check back for more retirement, tag, and free agency grades in the coming weeks.

Peyton Manning Retirement Grade – 1 Out of 10 Favres

Peyton Manning rides off into the sunset. Maybe not as gracefully as Jared Allen. Manning deserves a grade of 1 out of Favre. He didn’t draw it out, he won a Super Bowl, and he’s retiring with his 2nd team. Good for Manning.

Now as a Bears fan living in Colorado I get to listen to months of Broncos hype about Osweiler or whoever they have at quarterback. Can’t make this offseason any more unbearable can you Peyton? Not to mention Manning was worse than Jay Cutler this year. He did everything he could to derail the Broncos super bowl, but the defense prevailed. Now we get to listen to about how Manning is the best QB of all time. Gag me.

The NFL – Running League

Today’s NFL is dominated by passers. Manning, Brees, Brady, even Romo.  But this could all change overnight.  Even with the rule changes that favor passing, running the ball remains a productive option.  The NFL’s best teams don’t throw on every down.  In fact, the Carolina Panthers even use a fullback (Mike Tolbert) to great effect.  Running the ball can take pressure off your defense or mediocre quarterback (Ryan Fitzpatrick).

So why don’t teams run the ball as often as they used to?  What happened to smashmouth football?  Offensive lines changed.  Only a few teams have a Richie Incognito.  A bulldozer.

Running backs weren’t even drafted highly the last few years.  Until Todd Gurley.  Todd Gurley is the last hope for smashmouth football.  He can run even with 8 men lined up in the box because linebackers have gotten smaller and smaller.  A 3-4 is great… against the pass.  With everything in the NFL geared towards the pass eventually someone is going to figure out that heading forward the best way to play football is to give a running back the ball 30 or 40 times a game. Because no one will expect it.  If you prepared for someone to pass the ball, are you prepared for a ground game that will wear your defense down to a puddle?

Eventually innovation will lead straight back to what made the NFL what it is today.  Anyone who averages over 3.4 per carry will get you a first down in three runs.  The NFL will come full circle especially as the great quarterbacks today retire.  Balance will always be key, and you can simulate a running game with short passes, but eventually someone like Todd Gurley will come along and show a generation of high schoolers that being a running back is cool, even cooler than being a quarterback.

10 Fake NFL Combine Questions

I’ve taken a few of these from my twitter account.  Check back often as there will be updates.  Or follow my twitter @unsportsbraggin for up to the minute #fakecombinequestions.

  1. Well… Where is Waldo?? 
  2. Is Donald Rumsfeld or Reggie White the Minister of Defense? 
  3. Do you walk under ladders? 
  4. If you had to pay child support, would you? 
  5. Bunt or Sacrifice Fly?  Why?  In what situation are you most likely to say “Get off my lawn?” 
  6. Name your 10 favorite types of candy in alphabetical order.  You have 5 seconds.
  7. Chutes or Ladders?  Why?
  8. How do I bake a cake?
  9. How much wood could you chuck if you could chuck wood?
  10. Have you ever forgotten your name?

Why I’d Rather have Jay

This offseason in the NFL will be fast and furious.  Today I’m going to go over some of the top quarterback options poised to hit the market… And why I’d rather have Jay Cutler.

Kirk Cousins

With nearly a 70% completion percentage, almost 4200 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only 11 interceptions Cousins seems like a good bet right?  Well, good news first, Cousins was only sacked 26 times last year.  A number very similar to Jay Cutler’s last year.  But let’s look at the Redskins schedule.  The best teams they played during the regular season?  The New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Carolina Panthers.  All 3 games resulting in a big old loss.  Was this Cousins fault?  Probably not.  But when you’re playing Chip Kelly’s Eagles, the Giants, and Romo-less Cowboys twice in a year, you’re going to win. And make throws you couldn’t make against a team with a proper cornerback.  “You Like That!?!?”

Now Jay Cutler on a horrendous Bears team that saw Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte, Bushrod, Kevin White, Eddie Royal, and basically everyone on offense (including Jay) miss time with a horrendous defense even managed to beat the Packers.  Yet Cousins couldn’t.  I’d still rather stick with Jay.

Brock Osweiler

I like Brock Osweiler a lot.  I’m only talking about for the next year or 2, not 10 when Jay is on the wrong side of 40.  Osweiler got sacked, a lot.  Try 23 time in 8 games as compared to Jay’s 29 times in 15 games.  For this reason I’m going to give Osweiler more slack on his stats than Cousins.  2000 yards in 8 games isn’t bad at all.  But 6 interceptions is.  That shows a lack of decision making that wasn’t purely the result of pressure.  Jay only threw 11 interceptions in 15 starts.  So Osweiler has a ways to come.  And only 10 touchdowns Brock?  Unacceptable.  I don’t care if you can’t run.  Just huck it.  Go Brett Favre on the Chiefs and Chargers with your 6′ 7″ frame and massive arm.  I’d still rather have Jay… next year anyhow.

Colin Kaepernick (Pending Trade, but available anyhow)

Well… he can run.  And almost throw.  His career pass completion percentage is 59.9%.  So, do I really need to say more?  I still think it’s hilarious Blaine Gabbert is better than him according to Jim Tomsula, everyone’s favorite mobster dressed as an NFL coach.  Do I even have to type out how I’d rather have Jay?

Sam Bradford

He has chicken legs after missing what seems like his entire career rehabbing knee injuries.  I really like Bradford.  But how can anyone plant when they’re throwing and look like Twiggy?  Not happening.  Don’t even care about the stats or Chip Kelly’s amazing coaching mind.  Chip Kelly did for coaching what Matt Millen did for General Managing.

Chase Daniels

There’s so little to look at, but he’s the real wild card of the bunch unlike…

Ryan “The Choker” Fitzpatrick

All the Jets had to do was win and to make the playoffs.  Instead Fitzpatrick showed he’ll never help a team win when he just kept throwing useless interceptions in Week 17.  GG Fitz.

That’s all for today’s exciting edition of “Why I’d Rather Have Jay.”  Tell me your thoughts.  Or just simmer angrily that any Bears fan would Rather Have Jay.