Did Jerious Norwood hit on Arthur Blank's wife or something?
Falcons running back Jerious Norwood spent 2007 thoroughly outperforming teammate Warrick Dunn in every possible way. Norwood averaged 6 yards per carry, and Dunn averaged 3.2. He never fumbled, and he caught more passes for more yards than Dunn.�
And still, he had to sit there and watch Dunn get twice the carries he did. They weren't splitting time ... Dunn had 227 carries, and Norwood had 103.
If you were thinking '08 would be the year Norwood finally got to be a feature back (as I was), it's time to reconsider. Teams don't generally give free agent running backs $34.5 million contracts if they're not planning on featuring them heavily. And that's what the Falcons gave former Chargers running back Michael Turner this weekend.
You can argue the merits of a 2-running back system, and I won't disagree. But here are three things the Falcons have, and I don't think any of these are up for debate: Some free agent cash, a ton of holes to fill, and a very good running back already on the roster.�
And they decided that the best way to spend that money was on someone who may or may not be better than what they already have in Norwood? How does this help anything?
I guess this is why the Falcons are the Falcons. Don't expect any sympathy from Norwood or the fantasy football players of the world when you go 4-12 again, gang.
• Free-agent running back Turner agrees to 6-year deal with Falcons / Yahoo! Sports
Rumors: Randy Moss to stay with Patriots at a bargain price
Pro Football Talk has been passing along rumors about it all morning, and now ESPN's getting in on it, too. Word on the street is that Randy Moss is about to sign a three-year deal to remain with the Patriots.
The deal is reportedly for $27 million over the three years, with no word on how much of that is guaranteed.�
Seems like a bargain basement price for a guy who turned the Patriots offense into a an 18-1 juggernaut. I find it hard to believe that some other team out there like the Eagles or the Titans couldn't find more than $27 million over three years for the game's most explosive receiver, coming off arguably the best season any receiver's ever had.�
Alan Faneca, a past-his-prime guard, got a five-year deal for $40 million. Asante Samuel signed for six years and $57 million with the Eagles. Justin Smith got six years and $45 million from the 49ers. What Moss is getting is not much more than Donte Stallworth or Bernard Berrian money.
It's hard to believe that three years, $27 million is the most anyone could find for Moss? For shame, NFL owners, for letting the Patriots keep Moss with such a low price tag.
• Pats Closing in on Deal with Moss / Pro Football Talk
• Source: Moss, Pats closing in on three-year, $27 million deal / ESPN
Vote: Who's the most overpaid NFL free agent?
First, keep in mind that the values indicated likely do not reflect the true value of the contract, because the NFL chooses to do things in a confusing and cumbersome fashion. The true value of the contract won't be known until it's played out or voided.
Now, on with the nominees. Cast your vote below...
Justin Smith, DE, 49ers
6 years, $45 million
Smith's been a good and durable player for a long time, but he is coming off his least productive year ever, at least in terms of sacks. He had a grand total of 2 last year. It feels like the 49ers gave a lot of money to the right guy at the wrong time.
Randall Gay, CB, Saints
4 years, $17.8 million
It's understandable because the Saints could sign Emmanuel Lewis as a corner, and he'd be an upgrade, but that still seems like a lot of money for Randall Gay. He's only 25 and does have room to grow as a player, but he'll have to be healthy and on the field for that to happen.
Donte' Stallworth, WR, Browns
7 years, $35 million
Stallworth has never cracked the 1,000-yard mark in a season, and has only been over 800 once. He was supposed to be the Saints go-to guy in the post-Joe Horn era, but the opted cut him loose. Also consider that the Browns already have Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow, and Joe Jurevicius catching passes, and it seems hard to justify breaking off that much cheddar for a guy who has never proven he could be a reliable #1 or #2 receiver.
Bernard Berrian, WR, Vikings
6 years, $42 million
The general consensus seems to be that the Vikings overpaid for Berrian by quite a bit, but I'm not sure I agree. Yeah, it's a steep price, but Berrian's got decent size, great speed, great hands, and can make catches anywhere on the field. He had over 950 yards for the Bears last year, despite the fact that the Bears would've been better off with a Jugs machine at quarterback. I may be in the minority here, but I think Berrian will turn out to be an excellent investment.
Jerry Porter, WR, Jaguars
6 years, $30 million
I've always been a Porter fan, and he's a phenomenal physical talent, but at some point, you've just got to assume that if it hasn't happened yet, it's not going to. On the other hand, he is a physically gifted wide receiver leaving Oakland, and those have prospered in recent years.
Alan Faneca, OG, Jets
5 years, $40 million
Bringing in Alan Faneca might not be a bad idea, but to make him the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league, despite the fact that he sleepwalked through the '07 season with the Steelers, seems like a bad idea. Pittsburgh had major offensive line trouble last year, and no one wanted to blame Faneca because he's popular with the local fans and everyone wanted him to stay, but he existed as part of the problem, not in spite of it.
Tommy Kelly, DT, Raiders:�
7 years, $50 million
Kelly has the potential to turn into a beast, but you know, so do a lot of people. He was an undrafted free agent, has played in 49 games, has 13 sacks, and is coming off a season-ending ACL injury last year. And with this, the Raiders gave him the largest contract ever given to a defensive tackle. In this particular competition, credentials don't get much stronger than that.
I guess Tom Brady didn't make much of an impression on Randy Moss
ESPN's John Clayton had an interesting tidbit about Randy Moss's venture into free agency this weekend. Actually, "interesting" isn't the right word. Let's change that to "baffling."
On Saturday night, [Moss] came up with an interesting idea. He reached out to Daunte Culpepper, his former quarterback with the Minnesota Vikings. The two former teammates discussed the possibility of finishing what they started in Minnesota on any NFL team interested, sources told ESPN.com.Let me see if I understand this. Randy just spent a year catching passes from Tom Brady, and he wants to reunite with Daunte freakin' Culpepper? For God's sake, why? It's like Kevin Garnett sitting around and saying, "I really wish I could get back together with Rasho Nesterovic," or Shawn Michaels saying, "If only I could recapture my glory days with Marty Jannetty."
I think the only appropriate conclusion to be drawn here is that Tom Brady, all season long, had been molesting Randy Moss. Nothing else make sense. The only way any receiver, let alone an elite one like Moss, would want to leave his current quarterback for Daunte Culpepper is if his current quarterback was touching him in inappropriate places.
You think Culpepper's face lit up at all when he saw Moss's name on the caller ID? "Wow, here's my chance to fool people into thinking I'm good again!"�
• Moss, Culpepper talk about reuniting via free agency / ESPN