The Scouts' Buzz
Here's a literal million-dollar question: Is
Suggs recently filed a grievance against the Baltimore Ravens, claiming himself to be a defensive end after the team labeled him an outside linebacker when it slapped the franchise tag on him. As a franchised OLB, Suggs will earn $8.065 million in 2008, about $800,000 less than a franchised DE ($8.879 million).
The value on a long-term contract is ultimately where the decision will have the biggest impact.
Obviously, Suggs wants to be compensated as a defensive end because his pass-rushing skills will command top dollar on the open market. With teams splurging on less established pass rushers such as
The resolution of Suggs' grievance will greatly impact the financial future of premier pass rushers in 3-4 defenses, including the Chargers'
But several league officials have their doubts. "I don't know how he can win the case regarding his position," says one AFC scout. "He is listed as an outside linebacker in their 3-4 and he spends time in coverage like other linebackers. ... Regardless of how he views himself, when you look at the tape, his role is not different than other top pass rushers who play in 3-4 defenses."
The Broncos dismissal of general manager
Though the deals to acquire
One league insider said, "They repeatedly gambled on character risks, and none of those moves paid off for them. ... You wonder if they began to feel the pressure after failing to sustain success after their Super Bowl runs."
While some league executives feel that coach Mike Shanahan is absolving himself from responsibility for the Broncos' recent failures, the move to dismiss Sundquist will ultimate leave Shanahan in the crosshairs if the Broncos fail to make significant progress next season.
The Seahawks' recent signings of running backs
At least one AFC scout, who watched skeptically as Turner struggled against the Patriots in the playoffs, thinks Atlanta is taking a huge risk. "His production is a little skewed because he was running behind arguably the best offensive line in the league, and he was surrounded by playmakers at the skill positions," the scout said.
Not everyone shares that opinion on Turner, who averaged over five yards per carry as
Still, the numbers are hard to ignore. Turner has never logged more than 80 carries in a season and has yet to have a game with more than 15 rushing attempts. Though he has three 100-yard rushing games to his credit, Turner has never started a game in his five-year career. He may indeed go on to have a career like Priest Holmes, but history suggests that Turner is more likely to follow the footsteps of free-agent flops LaMont Jordan and Dominic Rhodes.
However, several league officials believe that the Cardinals will be able to keep both stars happy while fielding a competitive team. When asked about having money tied up to multiple players at the receiver position, one front office executive said, "You can do it with two, but you must draft around those guys. ... If you tie your money up at receiver, your running back, quarterback and top offensive linemen must come through the draft."
By correctly identifying the starters through the draft, the Cardinals will be able to use a cheaper economic model to build their offense. The Indianapolis Colts mastered this strategy and have been able to keep their offensive nucleus together for years by wisely spending their cap money while adding quality young players through the draft. If the Cardinals can make good decisions with their draft picks, they should be able to keep both of their Pro Bowl receivers together for a long time while building a competitive team.
Staying out of trouble off the field will be the key for wide receiver
On the field, however, Bryant has the skills to be a starter opposite