Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Ex-teammate: Seau likely had over 1,500 concussions

Former Seau teammate Gary Plummer: 'He was crying out for help'
www.mercurynews.com

Said Plummer: “In the 1990s, I did a concussion seminar. They said a Grade 3 concussion meant you were knocked out, and a Grade 1 meant you were seeing stars after a hit, which made me burst out in laughter. As a middle linebacker in the NFL, if you don’t have five of these (Grade 1 effects) each game, you were inactive the next game.

“Junior played for 20 years. That’s five concussions a game, easily. How many in his career then? That’s over 1,500 concussions. I know that’s startling, but I know it’s true. I had over 1,000 in my 15 years. I felt the effects of it. I felt depression going on throughout my divorce. Junior went through it with his divorce.”

Plummer tells of players struggling to find direction in their post-NFL lives, and he proposes that all players receive mandatory counseling at the end of their careers. Ex-NFLers are too proud to seek help, says Plummer, and he stresses that Seau's example is not an isolated one.

NFLPA: League ceded power to punish pre-CBA actions

Appeal filed on bounty suspensions
espn.go.com

The NFL Players Association has filed a grievance challenging the authority of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend four players for their involvement in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program.

The grievance claims Goodell is prohibited from punishing players for player conduct prior to Aug. 4, when the current collective bargaining agreement took effect.

“In connection with entering into the 2011 CBA, the NFL released all players from conduct engaged in prior to the execution of the CBA, on August 4, 2011,” the grievance says.

The grievance also claims that the actions in question were “on the playing field” and under the jurisdiction of hearing officers Ted Cottrell and Art Shell, not off-the-field actions handled by the commissioner.

CBA, Schmee-B-A. The Ginger Hammer has a brand to protect, rules be damned.

D-Mac: Broncos targeted DeCastro at 25, whiffed on Martin with trade back from 31

REFLEX DECISION: Why Elway decided to draft Brock Osweiler
www.milehighsports.com

They were hoping that Dontari Poe, Michael Brockers or Dre Kirkpatrick would fall into their laps…the Steelers, one pick in front of the Broncos, snatch David DeCastro…Desperation.

Trade the pick back to 31 and reload…we’re gonna get our best running back – Doug Martin at 31! Phone rings. Tampa Bay wants to move up. The Broncos will get 36. Okay, not as much money – do it – we can probably now get a steal on Doug…SMASH!!!!! TAMPA TAKES MARTIN!!!!

D-Mac's column is a difficult read, what with the rapid, unannounced jumps between fact, speculation and opinion, and his frequent run-ins with the CAPS LOCK key. Yet it's no surprise to us that Pittsburgh's selection of David DeCastro prompted Denver's first move down the board, and D-Mac's sloppy retelling casts clear doubts upon EFX's claims that they had A) stuck to their plan B) gotten precisely whom they'd intended C) not screwed up the draft.

Here's what it comes down to: if you're going to trade back, priority #1 is to still land the player you'd intended, and barring that, you'd best get a commensurate return, meaning more than simply improving your position in the middle of the draft. Denver entered with seven picks and departed with seven players, and if we're to believe McKee's take, the only time Denver got their guy was also the only time they used their own choice. (h/t Alden Brown)

Kurt Warner played football so his kids won’t have to

Kurt Warner would prefer his sons not play football
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

“They both have the dream, like dad, to play in the NFL,” Warner said. “That’s their goal. And when you hear things like the bounties, when you know certain things having played the game, and then obviously when you understand the size, the speed, the violence of the game, and then you couple that with situations like Junior Seau — was that a ramification of all the years playing? And things that go with that. It scares me as a dad. I just wonder — I wonder what the league’s going to be like. I love that the commissioner is doing a lot of things to try to clean up the game from that standpoint and improve player safety, which helps, in my mind, a lot. But it’s a scary thing for me.”

Asked if he would prefer that his sons not play football, Warner answered, “Yes, I would. Can’t make that choice for them if they want to, but there’s no question in my mind.”

Warner's comments recall those from Troy Aikman in February:

Aikman does not have a son, but said, “if I did, I wouldn’t tell him he couldn’t play football. If he wanted to, I would say ‘OK, great.’ But I don’t know if I would be encouraging him to play. Whereas, with the other sports, you want your kids to be active and doing those types of things.”

“I believe, and this is my opinion, that at some point football is not going to be the No. 1 sport. You talk about the ebbs and flows of what’s popular and what’s not. At some point, the TV ratings are not going to be there.”

Christmas Ape says it's easy for them to say, although his suggestion that one has to play a long time or reach the NFL to have their life ruined by head injuries couldn't be farther from the truth.

From 80 yards away, everyone looks like Peyton Manning

Packers' seventh-round pick QB Coleman is a mini Manning
www.jsonline.com

“If you put B.J. in a Colts uniform or a Bronco uniform now and put him about 80 yards away from where all the media was standing, you’d think it was Peyton Manning,” Satterfield said. “Now, he hasn’t won a game yet. He’s not anywhere close to where Peyton is. But just the way he moves his body with his play-action fakes and his throwing motion, everything looks just like Peyton Manning.

I once saw Daryl Gardener standing 50 yards away from me in the parking lot of an IHOP, and you know what?  He looked just like Reggie White.

Then I got the hell out of there before the staring pissed him off.

B.J. Coleman was drafted in the 7th round.  Objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are.

John Harbaugh goes Ward Cleaver

Harbaugh: Pats titles have asterisks
espn.go.com

“In the end, everything is brought before the light of day, when it’s all said and done,” Harbaugh said on “98 Rock” in Baltimore. “What happens, even the thing in New England, no matter whether those things had any impact on whether they won their championships or not, they got asterisks now. It’s been stained. To me, it’s never worth it. You have to figure out ways to use the rules to your advantage, you have to figure out ways to make the most of everything…That’s what success is in the world. You have to find a way to do things better than somebody else. But if you’re cheating, in the end, you’re going to get discredited. It’s not worth it.”

You hear that, kids?  There are no shortcuts.  As Hulk Hogan would say (or perhaps Johh Harbaugh): if you want to be a true American hero, you've got to train, say your prayers, eat your fiber, be true to yourself, and be true to your country.

Or you can videotape the other team, win three championships, be considered perhaps the greatest coach of all time, and have NFL Films lionize you.

Kirk Cousins surprised he’s not Brock Osweiler

Kirk Cousins thought he’d back up a veteran like Peyton or Vick
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

“I would have said probably Denver or Philadelphia, in terms of teams that had shown interest and were looking for a quarterback.”

“I still have an opportunity to learn from a nine-year veteran like Rex Grossman,” Cousins said. “I’ll be the first one to say it was a surprising pick to me as well, but coach Shanahan was there in San Francisco with Joe Montana and Steve Young, so he’s not new to this. . . . I know my opportunity is going to come sooner or later.”

Exit Light (Peyton Manning).

Enter night (Rex Grossman).

Take Kirk's hand. We're off to Rex Grossman land.

Guitar Solo

Osweiler prepared to sit a decade if needed

Brock Osweiler on Teaming Up with John Elway and Peyton Manning in Denver: “It’s a Quarterback’s Dream”
sportsradiointerviews.com

On if the Broncos staff has notified him of any changes they’d like to see from him:

“Not really. In fact, it seemed that the coaching staff was very happy with how far I had progressed since the end of the season. I gotta give a ton of credit to Noel Mazzone for working with me the past three months and improving my delivery, improving my footwork . . . And I feel like the coaching staff in Denver was very happy with the progress that I had made.”

On having to wait behind Peyton Manning, maybe for several years:

“You know, my job as a quarterback right now for the Broncos is to do what’s absolutely best for the football team. And if that’s to sit for two years behind Peyton Manning, or 10 years, or whatever the case may be, I’m just there to do what’s ever best for the football team and I just absolutely cannot wait to get started.”

We're quite sure Osweiler doesn't really mean 10 years, but the saying that he would wait a decade is the important thing here.

Looks like Noel Mazzone and mechanical flaws aren't the only commonalities between Osweiler and Tim Tebow.  It seems Osweiler is well versed in saying the right thing, too.

GB², we love you, Brock.

The NFL may put us out of our Pro Bowl misery

Pro Bowl game likely to be shelved
espn.go.com

Many players who will be selected during this week’s NFL draft are regarded as future Pro Bowl selections, but the game itself likely will be suspended this season and beyond, according to league sources.

Sources say that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has previously voiced his displeasure with the lack of competitiveness in recent Pro Bowl games, is strongly considering suspending this year’s game, sources say.

Beyond 2013, another league source believes the Pro Bowl is “DOA (dead on arrival).”

If the game is suspended, the league still would have a Pro Bowl balloting process to identify the season’s top players and would direct teams to negotiate Pro Bowl clauses into player contracts and to honor Pro Bowl incentive clauses to avoid any serious conflict with the players association. Those players also likely would be honored in some fashion during Super Bowl week.

Good riddance.

Samuel accepts hefty pay cut to join Falcons

Asante Samuel agrees to three-year, $18.5M deal as part of trade
www.nfl.com

The deal to send cornerback Asante Samuel to the Atlanta Falcons from the Philadelphia Eagles has been finalized, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

As part of the trade, Samuel and the Falcons have agreed to terms on a three-year, $18.5 million deal.

Mike Klis reported last week that Denver was essentially out of the running for Samuel, and now it's official. Samuel had been due about $21.5M over just two seasons according to the terms of his prior contract.

Atlanta sent Philly a seventh-round pick in return for Samuel; according to Kils, Denver had been offering either a fifth- or sixth-rounder, or a player.