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Weekly NFL News and Notes Column


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June 27th-30th is the NFL rookie symposium. It is expected to be the most intense ever. Several league people have told me that the players will get an earful of intense words of wisdom. This venture is a great idea. 90% of the rookies don’t need it, but the 10% who do are certainly given a lot of information. What do they do with it?


Jets fans may be worried about Revis getting a new deal. The team and the player seem not to be. What triggers me thinking that it really isn’t an issue is that even off the record other Jet players and team officials are worked up. Normally off the record is where you learn A L O T!


We told you when JaMarcus Russell got canned that we doubted anyone would take him. We also added the caveat that with today’s NFL someone who falls in love with him like the quirky NFL owner who falls in love with big arms in Oakland. I keep hearing from those in the organization that Russell was a bad apple. One NFL team official told me this weekend, “If Al Davis doesn’t want you, whose left?” I mentioned a coach from Denver who is now in D.C. and was promptly told, “They aren’t in the same league.” 


“When the NFL and the NFLPA stop publicly taking it to each other you will know that a deal is close.” Those words were said to me on Friday from a league executive. I read them to a player rep whose answer was only two words, “True dat.” I think that means that he agrees. Neither can afford to kill the golden goose. When both parties are silent I guess that means progress is being made.


Chiefs’ fans need to relax on Matt Cassel. Do you think he forgot how to QB when he left the Patriots? No. The Chiefs didn’t exactly have the same talent as the Patriots. There was a report in KC recently of over 50 dropped catchable balls by Chiefs’ players that a player told me about. It sounded exactly like what Brian Hoyer (current Patriot QB) went through his senior year at MSU.


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Coach Spag in St. Louis just about killed his players last year. One team exec told me it as the toughest thing he had ever seen. A player said, “I wasn’t alive when Lombardi did his thing, but every football fan has heard and it had to be something like that.” He has his team’s respect. If they get to five wins celebrate in 2010, but I don’t see it. Either way that team is going in the right direction.


Tomorrow at 4PM is the deadline for unrestricted free agents to sign their June 1 tenders. That could be interesting. Watch the wires for this.


Brian Hoyer is “Entrenched” in Foxborough. He works hard and keeps his mouth shut. Like his time at MSU they see he is “Always out in the community” and the Patriots love him. Don’t be shocked, but the league marvels at the trust Belichick has in him by only going with two QBs, Hoyer and Brady. One NFC team official told me, “He must be the second coming. Bill (Belichick) doesn’t operate that way. It really tells you what they think of him.” I asked Hoyer recently about that faith and he told me, “I just treat every day like a job interview. I don’t want to take anything for granted.” 


What hurts the Ravens is an inability to score. They think they have that fixed. If it is the case, look out for them in 2010. We have heard this before in Baltimore, but not from the people I am hearing it from now. One team exec in the AFC told me Friday, “If Ozzie was more flashy he would be heralded like a genius of talent like Belichick is of coaching. They are going to be tough.” High praise. I am truly neutral. I don’t love or hate the Ravens, but I trust that exec.


Haynesworth to the Vikings? The NFC north’s purple people eaters are like a shark in the water. They smell blood. Will the Skins make a trade or get frustrated and cut him? Who knows if the Vikings even take him, but they sense blood and have done a phenomenal job searching for more talent in 2010.


Mike Vick according to Forbes is the most hated man in sports for the second year in a row. I know that The Warden in the Phalanx Forum will have fun with this.


I don’t like holdouts in sports. To me a contract is a contract, everywhere but the NFL. I side with Chris Johnson of the Titans on this one. In the NFL they can (and do) essentially cut players at will, even with mega deals left. If the owners are unhappy that finally a player has leverage, well once again get made at the CBA, a CBA that in 90% of the verbiage supports them.