Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Chiefs land ex-Raiders CB Routt

Report: Stanford Routt signs with Chiefs
eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com

According to those same multiple reports, Routt’s deal is for three years and worth $19.6 million.

Oakland’s not off the hook, though. Multiple reports indicate that Routt’s new deal will not offset the $5 million Routt was scheduled to receive from the Raiders in 2012, so the cornerback will be getting two paychecks.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the addition of Routt to the Chiefs is what it means for would-be free-agent cornerback Brandon Carr. Carr was a strong possibility to get the franchise tag, but the Chiefs signing Routt means that wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is a much more likely target now.

Atlas shrugging off NFL players?

Late hits: Why do so many former NFL players go broke?
www.cbssports.com

And there is definitely something to say about personal responsibility. Terrell Owens made enough money during his NFL career for several lifetimes, yet he’s broke due to poor investments and child-support payments. That’s on Owens, and it’s possible some of the above stories happened because of irresponsible choices as well.

Yet many of these situations feel like men who simply slipped through the cracks through no fault of their own, and in a league that has so much money, how is it that any former player can be on the verge of eviction or having their car repossessed?

Some of this again is about personal responsibility. Not all of those men are victims. Some of the pain is self-inflicted, but it remains an amazing thing to see, nonetheless. It’s also a reminder of why players fight for every penny when they play.

And the money continues to roll in…

Lloyd and Pats trying to overcome “Condon Thing”

Brandon Lloyd’s agent puts Pats on call
bostonherald.com

If the Patriots want to do business, in this case in pursuit of soon-to-become free agent wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, that’s all that’s necessary. No need for rapprochement, a political term that springs from the French word rapprocher, meaning to “bring together.” No need for a lovefest and no need trying to undercut him through backdoor whispering campaigns designed to convince his client of the need to fire his agent for a deal to get done in Foxboro.

“As I told him [Lloyd] last night,” Condon said, “if he wants to go to the team that pays him the most money, wonderful. If he wants to go to a team that pays him less but where he feels there’s better opportunity for success, wonderful. He’ll make that decision.”

Condon famously once said of his testy relationship with Patriots management: “We pretend there are 31 franchises in the NFL now and they pretend we don’t exist, even though we represent 140 (now over 160) of the best players in the NFL. That’s fine.”

Try to say the word "Condon" five times fast and see what happens.  Yeah, it happened to me, too.  And when the Patriots and Condon are negotiating, you probably ought to wrap up that Jimmy.  It looks like things get really naughty.

Walking the road less traveled on the homeschooling debate

Tim Tebow Debate: Should Homeschoolers Be Allowed on Public-School Sports Teams?
ideas.time.com

Despite — or perhaps because of — Tebow’s success, the prospect of lots of homeschoolers joining high school sports teams has the education establishment up in arms. Many opponents to Tebow laws repeat the mantra, “High school sports are a privilege, not a right.” Others fret that the logistics will be too daunting; for starters, how can you ensure homeschoolers are academically eligible to play? And after years of deriding public schools, homeschooling advocates seem shocked they’re not being greeted with open arms. The controversy surrounding Tebow laws is at once a reminder that homeschooling is too lightly regulated and a cautionary tale for those who want to broaden support for public schools.

In a diverse society like ours, there is value in commonness. Opponents of Tebow laws have it backwards: integrating homeschoolers into our public education system advances the goal of commonality. Besides, given all the problems our public schools face, it makes sense to build bridges to different communities, not exclude them. It’s how you build support and political coalitions. Letting homeschoolers play sports is one way to do that — if the homeschooling community can get past its reflexive opposition to regulation and meet the public schools halfway.

I wrote a few weeks ago that this debate is one in which both sides have legit points; it's difficult to make it a black-and-white issue.  This piece does a decent job of trying to present a third alternative: compromise.  

Elway says Broncos to spend at least $3M more than last year

Elway says Broncos to spend more than NFL salary cap in 2012
www.denverpost.com

In 2011, the Broncos spent $117.5 million in cash on salaries, or 98 percent of the $120.375 million salary cap. The cap is expected to again come in at $120.375 million for the 2012 season.

“That $3 million difference, we’ll roll that over to this year,” Elway said. “And that really came from the savings of Orton, so we’ll have that money to spend this year.”

Certainly not worthy of the "Denver Post Breaking News" spam special email, but whatever. So the cash savings from the Orton release could turn into a player - don't laugh, that guy could be the 2012 version of Chris Harris.*

As for actual news, the Broncos signed 25-year-old 6'2" 308 guard C.J. Davis, formerly of the Panthers. Davis dressed for seven games in 2010 but none in 2011.

* The undrafted free agent who kicked ass this year, not the Panther/Bear who Mason mentioned as a possible FA target. Man, that would be SO annoying.

Krieger: public deserves its cut, too

Is Denver's Skyline For Sale?
www.850koa.com

Is Denver’s skyline for sale? And, if so, what’s it worth?

The first of these questions has gotten a lot of attention in the debate leading up to today’s hearing before the city planning board on The Sports Authority’s proposal to install three 178-foot, lighted signs along the metal band that undulates around the top of the stadium where the Broncos play in northwest Denver. The second question has gotten almost none.

...So perhaps the most surprising aspect of the debate is that at no time has the city or the stadium district asked The Sports Authority to pay an additional fee for the right to vastly augment the signage that went with the original naming rights deal. The money from the naming rights deal—approximately $6 million a year—is divided between the Broncos and the stadium district, which uses its share for upkeep of the facility. If there is excess, it is supposed to go back to the counties that provided the public funding that got the place built.

If the free market allows The Sports Authority to put its brand on the Denver skyline, then the free market should also require it to pay a market rate for the privilege. And that doesn’t mean just picking up the existing naming rights fee, which included much more modest signage rights.

MNF booth only big enough for so much QB slobbery

Ron Jaworski is leaving the Monday Night Football booth
www.awfulannouncing.com

While ESPN is careful not to deem Jaws leaving the booth as a demotion in any sort of way, especially given the five year contract extension, this is a stunning move.  One immediately has to ask whether or not the booth was becoming too small for both Gruden and Jaws?  There is always give and take with a three man booth and there were a few times where I sensed elbowing for position on MNF telecasts, but it wasn’t anything drastic.  I always thought Gruden and Jaws worked well together and made an enjoyable team with Tirico even if some of their QB love was redundant.

Count Drew Magary among those celebrating the end of Jaws and Chucky's sycophantic guffawing.

Instead, it's endless talk of how OUTSTANDING every player is. Yay!

Tebow working with Noel Mazzone on mechanics

Tim Tebow working with QB guru
espn.go.com

The Broncos cannot work with him yet, but Tebow has gotten a jump on his improvement plan. Bruce Feldman of CBS tweeted that Tebow is in Los Angles (sic) this week to work with new UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone on his mechanics.

Mazzone is considered one of the premier quarterback coaches in the college ranks.

Once the Broncos can work with Tebow in the spring, Tebow is going to work closely with the coaching staff and John Elway. He has said several times he will work with Tebow, concentrating on his foot work.

Why something like this didn't happen last year is a great mystery, but hey - better late than never.

Mazzone has been the college OC for several future NFL QBs: Philip Rivers during the Chargers QB's senior year at NC State (2003), Derek Anderson at Oregon State in 2002, Jason Campbell at Auburn in 2001, and most recently ASU QB Brock Osweiler for the past two seasons. Mazzone joined Jim Mora's staff at UCLA in January.

Roger Goodell, American hero, doubles salary to $20 million

Report: Goodell's salary to 'double' up to $20M
eye-on-football.blogs.cbssports.com

Roger Goodell recently received a five-year contract extension from the NFL, and according to a report, his salary will “double” up to $20 million annually by the end of the deal…

MLB commissioner Bud Selig made $18.35 million in 2007, per Kaplan, and has since received two contract extensions. It is a logical assumption that Selig is paid more than $20 million annually at this point…

And while the response from NFL players on Twitter—Falcons wide receiver Roddy White wondered “How in the hell can [you] pay a man this much money that cant run tackle or catch”—hasn’t been ideal, it’s difficult to get too angry at what Goodell’s bringing in.

In an era of downsizing, layoffs, and record budget deficits, there's one guy who has managed to do alright for himself.  His name is Roger Goodell.  Like our good buddy Joe Ellis, Goodell managed to pull himself up from his bootstraps into the corporate leader he is today.  If only we all had boots that went all the way up to our asses so we didn't have to reach too far.

Hey, we all have to start somewhere, right?  Patrick Willis' mother abandoned him as a kid and his father beat the living snot out of him, and he made it, so I can't be too hard on Goodell for pursuing his own American dream as the son of a United States Senator.  And who the hell am I to question $20 million for a guy who successfully limited the rookie pay scale?

Congratulations, Roger Goodell. You deserve every penny. And unlike Patrick Willis, you don't have to actually take the concussions to make a lot of dough off of football.

Broncos are 1/32nd of NFL, have 1/14th of the league’s cap space

Plenty of (cap) room to improve
espn.go.com

The Houston Texans and San Diego Chargers didn’t have enough remaining room to push money over into 2012, so Houston has $3.3 million of cap space and San Diego has $9.2 million. The Kansas City Chiefs have $62.995 million after budgeting $24.014 million from the 2011 season. The 2011 playoff teams in good shape are the Denver Broncos ($50.735 million of cap room), San Francisco 49ers ($39.33 million), Atlanta Falcons ($30.6 million) and New England Patriots ($20 million). To get to the $50 million mark, the Broncos carried over $26 million of unused cap.

Four teams still have to get under the salary cap by March 13. They are the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have redone three contracts to be $11.7 million over, the Oakland Raiders ($11 million over), the Carolina Panthers ($9.6 million over) and the New York Giants ($7.3 million over).