Weekly NFL News and Notes Column

Hondo S. Carpenter

 

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Albeit not a title wave, there seems to be growing optimism that a CBA deal can be worked out by the NFL and the NFLPA. One team player union rep told me, “We can’t kill the golden goose. I think both sides know we have to make this happen.”

 

Brian Westbrook seems destined for Washington. That seems like a backlog of players, but it does appear the place he will end up.

 

Anthony Gonzalez with the Colts has all the talent in the world, but makes people shake their heads. Although not a prediction, I know many that would be shocked if he’s part of this team come game one.

 

The Lions are beyond thrilled with Jahvid Best. He is showing a lot and if continues to perform like this when camp hits, he could be a special back. One recent former Lion told me, “Every time I talk to anyone they bring that kid up.”

 

The NFL has had a lot of time to review the numbers of the draft and the other ancillary things that go with it. To call them thrilled would not be an understatement. They don’t do it loudly, but they do like to send messages to baseball that they are king. It used to be in the past that they didn’t schedule things when other pro leagues were in serious action. That has slowly changed. Once the labor issues are resolved look for them to attack.

 

I was a guest on a Sirius Football heads’ chat this week and I was given a question about the Chargers and moving up for a RB. I told them that if you think you are one player away from a Super Bowl, you give up whatever you have to. The reverse side is that if they don’t make it they gave up a lot and it was foolish. High-risk high-reward moves don’t happen much because most people are afraid of losing their jobs. Either the Chargers are gutsy, or have no fear. That pick is boom or bust. No middle ground.

 

The more I talk to people about the Dolphins, the more excitement or intrigue you hear. The more I look at them, the more they are moving up my expectation ladder for 2010.

 

Chiefs’ fans didn’t seem thrilled with Branden Albert last year. Well, relax because he is your left tackle of today.

 

Terrell Owens is still a free agent. There seems to be little surprise. Someone will give him a shot, but when you talk to people around the league, they seem to all be asking where?

 

In the Spartan Nation annual NFL mock draft we listed Terrance Cody as first round pick for the Ravens. He dropped for the Ravens and they picked him up later, but they still love him like a first rounder. Folks with the Ravens tell me, “We just plain stole him.”

 

The Raiders are thrilled with Jason Campbell. He is an opposite of JaMarcus Russell. His work ethic has endeared him already to the team. You have to get that from the QB, and Campbell is showing it.

 

Until he signs with someone else, the general school of thought is that S O.J. Atogwe will end up a Cowboy.

 

Viking fans have to be fired up. They haven’t done a lot this off-season, but they have kicked the tires on everything and have kept no stone unturned looking for help. That is what makes championship organizations. They don’t have to make every deal, but they are in on and looking at them. 

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