News and Notes from Around the NFL Weekly Column

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News and Notes from Around the NFL

I don’t think it will happen, BUT three different NFL people told me last night that they are hearing the Lions are going to make a play for free agent superstar CB Nnamdi Asomugha. I just don’t see it, but I am hearing it.

Browns’ fans may not be able to tell it, but Colt McCoy has emerged as a real leader on his team. He is doing a lot that isn’t getting noticed and one member of the Browns told me last night, “He went from a good kid to a good leader. We all know he has talent, but at this level that was the only thing he was missing.”

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News is considered universally as the guru of the NFL draft. He joined me live when Spartan Nation Radio was in Dallas and told me that Kirk Cousins in the past 2010 NFL draft was a top 15 pick had he come out. He told me, “No doubt he will be one of the first taken next season. He has it all and what teams want. Look at what quarterbacks went and where last year and tell me he doesn’t belong.”  That is high praise and Gosselin doesn’t say things that don’t happen.

On another note, Gosselin told me that Jerel Worthy will also be a first round pick. He loves him and told me, “Defensive tackles are at such a premium and he can be special. I really want to see how he plays this season with all the attention.”

Finally, Gosselin and I talked about the Detroit Lions. I mentioned the Lions’ weakness in the defensive backfield and he had a great point. “Look at when the Bears and the Giants won the Super Bowl. Can you name their defensive backfield? A good defensive line makes them a lot better. The fastest way to the quarterback is a straight line, and the closest people to the quarterback is the defensive line and the Lions are really good.”

Carson Palmer, I believe, thought he had the Bengals over a barrel by saying he won’t play for them and will retire. It is dumb for the Bengals to let him rot; trade him and get some picks. There is so much elation in Cincinnati about new QB from TCU Andy Dalton, it may just happen. The owners of the Browns are stubborn and many thought they would just let Palmer rot and retire. Not anymore. One NFC official told me last night, “I think they trade him now. They are so happy with Dalton, just let it go.” Who knows with the Bengals, but it makes sense. Maybe the happiest man in the world with Dalton is Palmer?

In this column last week I was very critical of embattled controversial OSU QB Terrelle Pryor. Well, Jud always said it only takes one team to like you. The good news for Pryor is that there is more than one. The list of people interested is growing.

I got a funny note from a friend of mine who is a scout for an NFL team. He read my story on MSU redshirt freshman punter Mike Sadler and his hang time. He told me, “With those numbers the kid could suit up now. If he hits a five hang time come season like he says, that young man will have every scout in the league locked in on him. Thanks for the heads up.” I wasn’t pimping Sadler, but I can tell you in my lifetime there have been a few Spartans with that young man’s character, but none better.

I was talking with a long time friend of mine who works for an AFC team last week. I asked him about teams in the draft process and he told me an interesting story about a guy they really liked and didn’t take. “We had a second year player that was great in the locker room and just a great guy and player. We liked a guy from his college so we asked him to tell us what he thought. He told us that he would play his music really loud in the locker room and the when the other 100 players asked him to turn it down (not everyone likes the same music), he would get belligerent. Even as a freshman. He never did turn it down. Our guy told us that there is no way he would fit a locker room and would cause trouble.” So what did you do I asked? “We passed. The NFL locker room is a sacred thing and has a lot to do with winning and losing, more than people think.”

From players to management for the first time in about 18 months there is genuine optimism that a deal is two or three weeks away. As I have said all along to you, there is no way they miss one game. Others, who are part of it, now agree. Three NFL players I have talked to in the last week all told me when I asked the chance they lose games this year, “0%.” I haven’t heard that in months.