News and Notes From Around the NFL...

Hondo S. Carpenter

Just in case you are wondering, there is NO ONE in the Colts organization that even remotely expects QB Peyton Manning to miss any games. No way. He lives for and thrives on the game of football. Sure the owner is making statements otherwise, but remember that NFL owners like Irsay are also entertainers. They understand the value of a story and he is promoting it.

Is the 49ers RB Frank Gore on the trading block? With the team signifying no, people in the know are saying something else. “That organization doesn’t work that way. They won’t let him rot there. If they can’t get a deal he will be gone. They may have went through a tough time lately, but they aren’t the Bengals with ego issues.”

Speaking of ego issues, how about Chris Johnson? The Titans RB wants Peyton Manning/Tom Brady money and there is NO WAY that is happening. His backups, which include my buddy Javon Ringer, are playing great and in the current NFL economic model only the Raiders would pay crazy money. I like how one AFC member of team management put it, “That is nuts. Look at the Colts that won’t give a guy a second contract. You pay them first round money. Let them go get a second deal somewhere else and since you treated them great they come back to finish with you for the third deal. RB is too risky.”

Teams across the league today are eyeing the new deal that the Cardinals gave All Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald for two reasons. Number one it is a monster. Eight years and one hundred and twenty million dollars. One NFLPA team rep told me, “No way that deal gets done prior to the lockout. Now, teams like the Cardinals have to spend the money so you might as well give it to the good guys on and off the field. In the past Larry would have got traded.” I agree with them 100% by the way. Secondly as one team exec put it, “WR is the most diva position. You have more egos there than any spot on the field. Now every WR thinks he should get that money and you KNOW they aren’t going to get it. We will see some big holdouts stemming from this eventually.”

I know Larry’s father who is just a great guy. Larry does everything you ask on the football field and off so a big shout out to them today.

As soon as the deal was signed, however, the Lions fans started emailing me. Here is just one from Kyle who pretty much represented the group. “Hondo, if Larry Fitzgerald gets that kind of dough how much is C.J. worth?” Well here is my answer and it won’t be liked. A lot less. C.J. is a great receiver no doubt, but he only touches the ball at most 12 times a game. He also hasn’t done what Larry has done. We may think he is better and you may want him to be, but until he is, you don’t pay that.

Those of you that have followed this column for long know that I have taken any opportunity to be critical of Chad Ochocinco. With shock, some of you read why I loved his move to the Patriots. As stated before, he will be an All Pro and a great citizen there. Well, here is something that he has done to earn respect in every locker room around the NFL and had players abuzz this weekend. On Thursday night the Bucs played the Patriots and rookie LB Mason Foster was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty. Ochocinco has always loved the game and he offered to pay Foster’s fine should the NFL give him one. He said, “That is the way the game is supposed to be played.” One NFC star said to me when I asked him, “Now that was a class move.” I expect Ochocinco to be a star this year and the issues of the past behind him. I still say the Patriots to the Super Bowl this year.

Former Spartan Derrick Mason, now a Jets WR, was injured Friday in practice and did not play in the Jets past pre-season game because of precautions. He was fine and would have played according to folks with the Jets had it been a regular season game.

The Ryan Bowl in week one should be interesting, Rex Ryan head coach of the Jets vs. Rob Ryan his brother the DC of the Cowboys. Got to love the NFL scheduling.

The Bears Jay Cutler and new WR Roy Williams are an interesting tandem. I like Roy a lot, but I just have trouble seeing that marriage work. I would love to see Roy on a team like the Patriots where I think he would live up to his billing as an All Pro WR. With Cutler? I don’t know.

Bad news for Redskins fans this Monday:Â Dan Snyder is still your owner.


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