Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Rovell: Broncos can’t make money off Manning

Peyton Manning may not pay off big as a Denver Bronco
www.usatoday.com

Peyton Manning was negotiating to play in Denver with the Broncos. And while fans of the team undoubtedly celebrated, making money off Manning will be difficult.

Why? Well, start with the fact that Manning’s deal averages $19.2 million a year.

There’s not a lot of inventory to sell because the Denver Broncos are one of those teams that will have fans in the stands no matter how competitive they are. They’ve sold out every game since 1970. Ticket prices around the stadium are locked in for 2012 and suite contracts are locked in for longer. Selling more Broncos jerseys won’t matter. All teams split up merchandise sales equally. National television money is also split equally, so it doesn’t matter how many games they play on the national stage.

That's why they call it revenue sharing--everyone makes money, no matter who is on the roster of the individual teams.

The Broncos didn't bring in Manning with the idea of increasing jersey sales.  It's about winning, as John Elway said.  Unlike some owners, Pat Bowlen's philosophy seems to be that making money comes from winning, not the other way around.

Dawkins: Tebow went Bon Jovi and laid his hands on me

Dawkins says Tebow “laid hands” on injured neck
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

“In our Bible study sessions when my neck was pretty bad and I’m hurting, [Tebow] along with our chaplain and [Broncos director of player development] Jerry Butler laid hands and prayed on me pretty good,” Dawkins said.  “They brought snot and tears to my eyes and all that type of good stuff with prayer.”

It shouldn't come as a surprise that athletes will go to any extreme to try and influence the outcome of their performance, and that this behavior would extend to injuries.  In fact, the less control an athlete feels he has over an outcome, the more superstitious his behavior becomes. Taylor Clark, author of the fascinating book Nerve Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cooldevotes almost an entire chapter of the book to this very topic. According to Clark, athletes are less likely to employ superstition in situations in which outcomes are easily controlled, like fielding a groundball. That's because fielding percentages of major leaguers are well over 95%. In short, these players feel like they are in complete control over fielding.

Other outcomes are different, however. As Clark notes, the reason you see so much ritual and superstition around outcomes like the hitting of a baseball, for instance, is because it's damn difficult (outside of the steroids era, and even then no one has been able to touch Ted Williams' .406 batting record). In short, players feel like they have less control over the outcome. And they're right. When going 3 out of 10 is considered elite, it certainly speaks to the difficulty of the job. That's how you end up with someone like Wade Boggs, who was obsessive compulsive in his superstitious approach to hitting a baseball.  Not only was he known as the "Chicken Man" for eating poultry as a pre-game meal, before each at-bat, he would write the word "Chai"--the Hebrew word for life--into the batter's box. Here's another example from the movie Major League (hey, bartender, Jobu needs a refill).

Dawkins and Tebow are no different in the case of Dawkins's neck injury. Laying of the hands beats--at least in their minds--sitting around and hoping the neck injury gets better. This is especially true given their religious convictions, which--how should we put it?--are more passionate than your average bear.

So the behavior shouldn't surprise anyone. In fact, there is interesting scientific data on faith healing, whether you believe in placebos or not. The surprise will come if Dawkins returns to the Broncos for another season given the extent of his neck injury.

Andy Reid wanted Manning over Vick

With Payton and Peyton, NFL is still the place
www.latimes.com

Two NFL insiders, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, said that Philadelphia Coach Andy Reid was ready to walk away from the Eagles if he didn’t get more personnel control, and now he has it.

Something else about the Eagles: Reid wanted to jump in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, despite the signing of Michael Vick to a six-year, $100-million contract last season. Talks never got too serious, the insiders say, because Manning didn’t like the idea of playing against his brother Eli, quarterback of the New York Giants, at least twice a season.

Either Reid has some regrets about signing Mike Vick to a long-term extension or he's confirming what we all thought: every team outside of New England, New Orleans, and Green Bay (and apparently, Houston) wanted to talk to Peyton Manning.

This ain’t your father’s Photoshop job

Topps unveils card of Peyton Manning wearing a Denver Broncos uniform (pic)
www.sportressofblogitude.com

“It’s important to capture the sport accurately, which is why we’re doing everything we can to get the players in their new uniforms.”

That's fine and all, but don't these people know the Broncos are going back to orange? Well, at least the airbrush work has gotten better over the years.

Tebow trade on ice yet again

Report: Tim Tebow Trade To New York Jets Is Off Until Saturday
www.rantsports.com

You probably are not going to believe me, but the Tim Tebow trade to the New York Jets is off again.  However, it should be completed on Saturday.  Due to some complicated language in his contract, Tebow must remain on the Denver Broncos salary cap for 24 hours and then he will be traded on Saturday, once he agrees to a brand new contract.

The Jets have postponed their press conference until Monday.  This trade is perfect for Tebow, in the sense that it is spiraling out of control.  It has taken on a life of its own and it seems to be self-sustaining.  Just like Tebowmania has been.

I doubt that the deal is cancelled, but the suspense is still building.  Every day that the deal is not done gives it a chance to unravel.  It would be a first, but I don’t believe that it would exactly shock everyone.  I know that I am expecting anything and everything to happen with this trade.

We assume this gets done, but you never never know.

Larsen joins Fells, McDaniels in New England

Patriots agree to terms with Spencer Larsen, one of the most Patriots-type players ever
www.bostonherald.com

If there is one thing the Patriots love, it’s versatility. Coach Bill Belichick is fond of players who play two positions, and that came up over and over and over in 2011.

The Patriots reached a two-year agreement today with the former Broncos jack-of-all-trades, a source confirmed. That gives Belichick another one of his type of guys.

Three years ago the Broncos became Patriots West; is the reverse now happening?

Tebow/Elway engaged in he said/he said over trade choice/non-choice

Elway said Broncos gave Tebow a choice
blogs.denverpost.com

Elway, in an interview Thurdsay on 102.3 ESPN radio in Denver, said Jacksonville’s offer was actually worth slightly more than the offer from the Jets. Jacksonville’s draft slot is 10 places higher than the Jets in each round.

“There was more from Jacksonville, but I think that we looked at it and it was close enough, and we were in contact with Tim throughout the day, and talked to him,” Elway said. “He knew what was going on the whole time. The reports that he was not involved are not accurate.”

Tebow, in a conference call with New York reporters late Wednesday night, said the Broncos held “all the power.”

Clearly, Tim doesn't want any of his fellow Floridians thinking he chose the bright lights of New York over a chance to head home, right?

Free agents weren’t the only ones who couldn’t wait on Peyton Manning

Obituary For Dead Broncos Fan Says He Hated Peyton Manning And "Wanted Out Before A Deal Was Done"
deadspin.com

He sounds like a decent guy, and a big-time Broncos fan. But he was more the Tebow sort, according to the opening paragraph of his obituary in the Columbia Tribune:

James H. “Jim” Driver, 78, of Eagle, Colo., formerly of Columbia, passed away Monday, March 19, 2012, at South Hampton Place in Columbia after a brief illness. An avid Broncos fan, he abhorred Manning and evidently wanted out before a deal was done.

One assumes Jim's family and friends have a good sense of humor. 

Kiss those Mike Wallace dreams goodbye

The 49ers inquired about Mike Wallace but ...
blogs.sacbee.com

How much? A league source said that Wallace, 25, wants a contract that surpasses the eight-year, $120 million deal that Larry Fitzgerald signed last year with the Cardinals. Combine that with the first-round pick any team that signs Wallace to an offer sheet would lose if the Steelers didn’t match the offer, and you start to understand why we’ve heard so little about Wallace in the last week and a half.

Yeah, never mind.

Woody Paige taking Tebow trade better than expected

Woody Paige: Tim Tebow run out of Denver, but Broncos will never see another like him
www.denverpost.com

Why are the Broncos getting rid of Tebow? Because they signed Peyton Manning, and he’s the only (available) quarterback that could have displaced Tebow, and Elway et al. feel they can win the Super Bowl soon with Manning, probably not with Tebow.

Why did they not keep Tebow as the backup now and the starter in the future? Because it wouldn’t have worked. Tebow wouldn’t get the necessary work in practices or games to help his development as a passer.

Why didn’t the Broncos move him to another position or use him as a Wildcat? Because Tebow has been told his whole life he couldn’t be a quarterback, and he is determined to be a long-term starting quarterback in pro football. He wouldn’t move.

Why did John Elway say Tebow would be the starter in training camp if he didn’t mean it? Because Elway didn’t realize then there would be a chance at Manning. The sincere intention by the Broncos was to play Tebow next season.

Why did the Broncos think Tebow couldn’t become a great passer? Because of his flawed throwing mechanics and footwork.

Got to hand it to Woody. He's taking the trade with a measured sense of perspective.