Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Matt Leinart: Capable of saving the Cardinals and your life

Matt Leinart: Capable of saving the Cardinals and your life
While a lot of other players around the league spent their Monday counting the money in their fat new free agent contracts, Matt Leinart was busy learning another inspiring way to use his lips.

Leinart, an America Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet Member, learned CPR and how to use those miniature irons that doctors use on people's chests when their heart stops.

Saying he felt it was important for him to be certified since he is “a father and a teammate,” Leinart added: “You never know when it can happen. In football, we’ve had people pass away from heatstroke or whatever, and maybe it was because there was no one to get there soon enough.

“God forbid something would happen on the football field or wherever it is. But if it does, I’m prepared.”
Leinart proved particularly adept at saving biracial people, and by biracial people, I mean people who have a a head that is Caucasian in the back and non-Caucasian in the front.

I think it's great that Leinart's ready to help out his fellow teammates. I can envision a fellow Cardinal player going down on the field, and having an onslaught of trainers and physicians rush to help them, but laying there and managing to choke out the words, "No ... (cough) ... send ... Leinart."

And who could blame them? If I'm dying, and I can choose between a trained professional to save me with his boring textbook technique, or I get a chance to have Matt Leinart and his tickly, masculine stubble to rub up against my face ... I'm going with Option B, baby.

I kid, I kid. I think what Leinart is doing is great, and it is an important cause. And next time I get to take him on in stupid fake bowling, I'll rest assured that he can save me when I choke.

Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback Leinart perfects new, lifesaving skills / Yahoo! Sports

Bucs add trouble Bryant to receiving corps
Antonio Bryant�joined the Tampa Bay Bucccaneers on Monday as well. Bryant hasn't played in the NFL since 2006 largely because of an incomplete suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy that caused potential suitors to stay away. But Bryant, who filed a federal suit against the league last year saying he couldn't be subject to the policy while not under contract with a team, brokered a deal with the league before moving to have the suit dismissed in December.

Although he wouldn't say whether Bryant, 27, is still enrolled in the substance-abuse program, agent Peter Schaffer said, "There are no legal matters pending" against his client. Bryant, who displayed his immense talent in 2005 with the Browns by catching 69 passes for 1,009 yards, has been something of a headache in other ways. He was sentenced to one year of probation in San Mateo, Calif., and fined $1,312 when he pleaded no contest to reckless driving after a November 2006 incident in his Lamborghini sports car. The 49ers, his team at the time, released him four months later, a year after giving him a 4-year, $14-million contract.

In 2004, he had a well-publicized run-in with then-Cowboys coach Bill Parcells, throwing a sweaty jersey at the coach's face. He was later traded from Dallas to Cleveland. The Bucs were among the teams that considered signing Bryant in 2007 after working out the Miami native in May.

Dunn returns to Tampa where his career began
Maybe Warrick Dunn's signing with the Bucs on Monday won't qualify as the league's most newsworthy of this free-agent signing period. And the two-year, $6-million deal is nowhere near the most lucrative considering the mega-money doled out the past couple of weeks the St. Petersburg Times reported.

But in terms of what the acquisition means to the player, franchise and a fan base that recalls so many indelible images of his early career success with Tampa Bay, you won't see many transactions that rank higher. Dunn is coming home to the team that made him a first-round pick in 1997 and a certified star, a move that sets up a potential storybook ending for the 33-year-old running back.

"I think I said it a while ago: It's full circle to start your career in Tampa and have the opportunity to finish it there," Dunn told the St. Petersburg Times on Monday evening. "I'm just really honored and humbled that the coaches believed in me, and hopefully I can come in and get to know those guys and just continue doing what I've been doing."

NFL, former Pats' video employee near deal
For the NFL, the New England Patriots' tale of the tape is beginning to sound more like a never-ending story. Since the Super Bowl, the league has been trying to arrange an interview with Matt Walsh, a former Patriots video assistant. He is alleged to have damaging details on additional secret videotaping by the team, footage of opponents that presumably gave New England an unfair competitive advantage.

So far, however, Walsh has been unwilling to talk. He and the NFL, who for weeks have been deadlocked — each accusing the other of making unfair demands — say now that they are close to resolving their differences. Walsh,�who worked as Patriots video assistant from 1999 to 2001 and was fired two years later, has been asking the league to sign a contract protecting him from legal or financial damages that he might incur because of this case, and to pay his legal fees the Los Angeles Times reported.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that in the last week, attorneys from both sides "have had intensive and constructive discussions regarding some new and promising approaches" that could help bridge the impasse.

Fitzgerald re-signs with Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals have reached a contract agreement with All- Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald Jr., Pending NFL approval. The 24 year old Fitzgerald, who helped the Cardinals to a 8-8 record in 2007 their best in ten years will remain with the Cardinals after signing a four-year contract extent ion.

The two-time Pro Bowl star said, "I'm very happy with this my intent was to stay with the Cardinals, I'm grateful that we were able to get this done." Fitzgerald led the NFC in 2007 with 100 receptions and 10 touchdowns. Fitzgerald will get $33 million over the next three years $30-million is guaranteed.

In 2008 he will get $17 million $15 is guaranteed if the Cardinals released him after 2008 season he would become a unrestricted free agent, he also has a no trade clause with-out his consent.

Bears could lose another receiver
The Chicago Bears are inching closer to losing another receiver according to the Chicago Tribune. Restricted free-agent Rashied Davis has drawn strong interest from Seattle and Kansas City, a source close to Davis said. Buffalo also jumped into the mix Monday afternoon.

Davis, who received a tender offer of $927,000 from the Bears, has until April 18 to negotiate with other teams. The Bears have the right to match another team's offer, but because Davis came to the NFL from the Arena Football League in 2005, the Bears would not receive compensation if Davis signs elsewhere.

Although the Bears recently signed Marty Booker and Brandon Lloyd, Davis could be a valuable asset regardless. The Chiefs aim to use him as their primary slot receiver, while the Seahawks would provide him the best opportunity to join a playoff contender. It was Davis who came up with crucial catches in the Bears' 27-24 overtime win over Seattle in the 2006 playoffs.

San Diego's Osgood wants to be a receiver, too
Two-plus years into being perhaps the NFL's most-recognized and most-appreciated guy who never plays, San Diego Chargers special teams standout Kassim Osgood is fed up. He wants to be a receiver according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

"I'm not happy," Osgood said. "Another year of special teams is going to kick my (rear end). "There is no reason to come to the (offseason coaching sessions) and run routes all day and run my body down and not be a receiver.''

The two-time Pro Bowler says he will not attend the Chargers' offseason workouts that begin next month, an act of protest and preservation.

Giants interested in Carr as backup to Manning
David Carr, the No.1 selection in the 2002 draft, will arrive in the New York area Monday to begin a two-day free-agent visit with the Giants. The Giants are interested in signing the 28-year-old to be the backup for Eli Manning, the No.1 pick in 2004.

Carr spent part of last year with the Carolina Panthers, making four starts. He went there after five mostly disappointing seasons with the Houston Texans, where he never quite lived up to his hype. If he signs with the Giants, Carr would be reunited with quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer, who was the Texans' offensive coordinator in Carr's first four NFL seasons.

The Giants clearly have made an effort to upgrade their backup quarterback spot, which was held last season by Anthony Wright. They were in the bidding for Todd Collins just moments after free agency opened on Feb.29, only to see him re-sign with the Redskins. They tried to bring in ex-Dolphin and new-Jaguar Cleo Lemon for a visit. They had also expressed an interest in Trent Green, who signed�Monday with the St. Louis Rams.

Shaun Alexander confused by Seattle's desire for a running game
I love the headline here: "Seahawks sign running back Julius Jones; Alexander wants to know what’s up." I think their second choice was, "Shaun Alexander is not very self-aware."

Here's what's up, sparkplug: The Seahawks would like to have a running game with a strategy other than, "Let's hand the ball off to an old guy, watch him gingerly tiptoe around for a yard and a half, and then fall down."

I know that in theory, that sounds like a great plan, but the team tried it with you last year, and it just didn't work.

I think the team wants to try something different this year. Something like, oh, I don't know ...� "Hand the ball off to someone who doesn't fear contact, and have that person try to gain as many yards as possible." I know, it's crazy! But that Mike Holmgren guy, he thinks outside the box.�

I don't know how Alexander could have the year he had and not understand why the Seahawks would sign TJ Duckett and Julius Jones. Alexander ran for 3.5 yards per carry last year, which was less than Brooks Bollinger. Did Alexander not notice that when he was on the sidelines, and Maurice Morris entered the game, that Seattle's offense improved by leaps and bounds?

People only see what they want to see, I guess.

Seahawks sign running back Julius Jones; Alexander wants to know what’s up / Yahoo! Sports

Trent Green signs with Rams, autopsy pending
Two things happened in the NFL last year, and I think it's important to call your attention to them now:

1) The contents of Trent Green's skull were temporarily turned into mashed potatoes by the knee of Travis Johnson; and

2) The St. Louis Rams had an injury-plagued and horrific offensive line that was absolutely incapable of protecting a quarterback.

And now Trent Green is a St. Louis Ram. Perfect ... it's a match made in the National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury. It's like like an alcoholic taking a job at the Jim Beam distillery. It's not quite the perfect environment for nurturing him back to health.

Last year, Marc Bulger, under the protection of the Rams line, suffered broken ribs, a bruised knee, and a concussion. His replacement, Gus Frerotte, had an ankle injury, a sprained shoulder, and a torn labrum. Trent Green's nose started bleeding immediately upon signing the contract.

Next year, the Rams line should be a little better, if for no other reason than it can't get worse. They had major injury problems, and some players will return, but--and get this--those players are coming off of major injuries (and in the case of Orlando Pace, coming off of major injuries in the past two years). They did sign guard Jacob Bell away from the Titans, though, so that should help.

I didn't want to watch Trent Green again. Now I might have to. But it probably won't be for very long.

Rams sign Titans’ guard Jacob Bell / Yahoo! Sports

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