Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Bill Williamson sets auxiliary verb record

Chat wrap: Could Broncos make a play for RG3?
espn.go.com

Bill Williamson: Could be the Broncos. But that’s no mystery. The Broncos scouted him during the season often. The problem is, there is little chance they can move up from No. 25 all the way up to No. 2 to get him.

BW: It could come down to that scenario, although I might put Chad Henne in the mix. I think Orton and Campbell are comparable, although I think Campbell may have slightly some more upside. Crennel loves Orton, but quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn knows Campbell well. It could be very interesting.

BW: I’m hearing Mathis is high on their list. Williams may be one of the biggest free agents on the board, but Mathis is a high quality player who is may be a tad cheaper. If Mathis doesn’t sign with the Colts, the Chargers may be in play.

Today's grammar lesson come from our friend, Bill Williamson.  What's the topic?  Auxiliary verbs.  They are the Mother's Little Helper of verbs: they allow one to appear to say something profound while giving weasel-like escapability.  Can, might, may, will, could--the list goes on and on.

Will the Broncos move up and take RG3?  They might.

Will the Chiefs keep Orton?  They could.

Will Woody Paige suddenly self combust?  He may.

That's right, anything could, might, or may happen.  Of course, it might not, either.  And that's the beauty of this kind of football writing.

You don't have to say anything at all.

Jury deliberating in Cox rape trial

Jury gets case against former Bronco Perrish Cox
www.denverpost.com

Cox did not testify in his own defense of charges that he raped a woman who was passed out at his apartment over Labor Day 2010.

In court earlier this morning, the prosecution played a video recording of the interrogation of Cox in December 2010, during which he repeatedly denied having sex with the alleged victim.

“I didn’t touch her at all,” Cox said, throwing his hands into the air. “She wasn’t even drunk.” After he was arrested by police, Cox asked the officers “I’m going to jail? Are you kidding me?”

In his closing statement, Steinberg said his client may have lied about having sexual contact with the alleged victim. “There may be a long line of distinguished individuals who did the same,” Steinberg said. “But that doesn’t make it rape.”

I'm sorry, but is Steinberg implying that Perrish Cox is a distinguished individual?

ESPN still unable to craft non-raycess headlines about Asian American athletes

ESPN’s Hines Ward "Happy Endings" Headline Is A Rorschach Test For Racists, Perverts Everywhere
deadspin.com

Did you read ESPN.com’s story about Hines Ward being cut by the Steelers, the only team he’s known for 14 seasons? Did you see that their headline was “No Happy Endings,” because Ward loves Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh loves Ward and it’s sad that it had to end this way?

Sigh. There's a whole lot that can be written about Hines Ward and his achievements as a football player before getting into his ethnicity. Unfortunately, the Worldwide Leader does not seem to think so.

Matt Yoder and Christmas Ape offer their takes.

He probably would have fumbled the interview anyway

Source: Peyton Hillis won't be tagged
espn.go.com

Throughout the past season, Hillis has wavered about whether he wants to continue playing football, and even considered joining the CIA, according to team sources.

It is unclear if he actually pursued a career with the CIA.

Gotta wonder if it's Hillis doing the dumping as he changes agents for the fourth time in over a year.

More reaction from With Leather and Shutdown Corner.

Raiders likely to cut Wimbley

Raiders to cut LB Wimbley if new deal isn’t reached
blogs.nfl.com

The Raiders will cut linebacker Kamerion Wimbley if he does not restructure his deal, a team source said Thursday.

Wimbley is due to make $11 million this season, with $6.5 million guaranteed, and Oakland is trying to restructure its budget and get under the salary cap.

Wimbley also has triggers in his deal that execute $19 million in future guarantees if he’s not released before the start of the league year. The Raiders value Wimbley and he is one of few pass rushing options they have, but the team also has lots of money tied up in its front seven and is in a cap crunch.

FWIW, the 2012 League Year begins on Tuesday, March 13.

Thomas’s testimony against Cox begins

Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas testifies for prosecution in sex-assault trial of Perrish Cox
www.denverpost.com

As a woman lay passed out on an inflatable bed on the floor of his apartment, former Denver Bronco Perrish Cox turned to then-teammate Demaryius Thomas and said “I think she’s ready,” Thomas testified this morning.

Thomas, a prosecution witness in the sexual assault case against Cox, told jurors that he replied “Nahh. I don’t think so.”

In other testimony today, Cox’s former girlfriend said Cox apologized when he was asked whether anything happened between him and the alleged victim.
“He was just saying he was sorry and didn’t mean to hurt me,” Carthy Che testified this morning at Cox’s trial in Douglas County District Court.

Tebow continues to maintain low offseason profile

Tim Tebow and Taylor Swift spotted on dinner date
www.nypost.com

A romance may be brewing between Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow and country songstress Taylor Swift.

Page Six reported that Tebow was the toast of a pre-Oscars bash on Friday night, where he spent some time chatting up Swift. The pair then had dinner Monday night at Toscanova Italian restaurant in Century City, according to the website Clevvertv.com.

Meanwhile, Tebow appears to be making a slew of Hollywood friends. On Sunday night, he mingled with stars including Tom Cruise at the annual Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Timmy sure is having quite the offseason, between re-re-re-working his mechanics and footwork, stretching out a wide-ranging celebrity buddy list that now includes Lindsey Vonn, Jeremy Lin, Fred Durst, Tom Cruise, and Taylor Swift, all the while potentially turning away the advances of Jenny McCarthy, Katy Perry, and Kim Kardashian.

Mike Klis knows all of the Broncos’ offseason plans, and he’s sharing

Possible Broncos QB dilemma: Tall Brock Osweiler in second round or not THAT short Kellen Moore in fourth?
blogs.denverpost.com

No matter how much they love Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden _ and they do _ the Broncos can’t take him at No. 25 because his age (29 on Columbus Day) drops his value…They would like Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler [in the second round].

Whatever quarterback the Broncos draft, the plan is to not play him in 2012. Tim Tebow is the plan in 2012. Remember, too: Tebow’s backup in 2012 will first be signed through free agency (Chad Henne? Josh Johnson?) soon after the market opens on March 13, or two weeks from today.

The Broncos do plan on drafting a starting defensive tackle, a starting cornerback and at least a 1B running back to complement Willis McGahee in 2012.

If the Broncos pick more for need, they could wait until perhaps the third, fourth or fifth rounds where Boise State’s Kellen Moore can be had. Moore is good. Really good. And the Broncos know it.

Not sure why Weeden's age would trump a team's "love" for him at a certain spot - if you want the player, you draft him. Andy Dalton supposedly wasn't worth a first-rounder a year ago, yet presumably there are plenty of teams who would pay that price today given the chance.

Anyway, many casual claims of fact within this little entry from Klis. But as Mike Lombardi stressed the other day, we are fully into Lying Season. So, take all of this with a mountain of salt, or do you really think the Broncos are truthfully sharing their playbook with the beat guy? Just wait for Bleacher Report, etc. to blow up with reports about reports about this report. Should be fun.

When one door closes…

Former Cal QB Sets Paper-Airplane World Record
deadspin.com

Joe Ayoob succeeded Aaron Rodgers as Cal’s starting quarterback in 2005. Ayoob’s tenure lasted for just one season, during which he threw for nearly as many interceptions (14) as touchdowns (15), and the following year he was replaced as the starter. Turns out Ayoob has more of a paper arm. On Sunday at McClellan Air Force Base, Ayoob’s throw of a plane designed by John Collins sailed 226 feet, 10 inches, besting the previous world record (207-4) by nearly 20 feet. Aaron Rodgers never did that.

[Insert Tebow joke here]

Having their cake and injecting it, too

In Defense of Ryan Braun: The undeniable idiocy of baseball's steroids "crisis"
www.grantland.com

The first is the question of the player’s health. This is not one to be dismissed lightly, even though, in almost every other context in professional sports, it is always secondary to profits in the mind of management. And the second, more hazy argument is that it is somehow unethical to ingest a substance that will make you play better. Too often, it seems, the former consideration is used to camouflage arguments based primarily on the latter.

Can someone seriously argue that it is ethical to take a drug to make a performance possible, but unethical to take a drug that makes that performance better? Isn’t making a performance possible at all the ultimate performance enhancement?...Sports are rife with drugs. Without drugs of one sort or another, the NFL season would never begin, and the baseball season would end sometime in June owing to a lack of participating teams.

Pierce (as usual) raises an important and fair question: What is the real difference between administering to players (ie. Tony Romo) painkillers such as Toradol (without which they'd likely be unable to play at all) - the dispensing and long-term effects of which are under dispute - and a "performance enhancing drug" which might allow a player a better chance of returning to action a week after a particularly physical game?

Is the former okay simply because the team is in charge? After all, we've certainly learned enough in recent years to safely conclude that team medical staffs do not prioritize players' short- or long-term health concerns over #winning, as I was just saying to my good friend Colt McCoy.