The Scouts' Buzz: Why Alexander should make himself comfortable
One of the biggest offseason surprises has been the lack of interest in former league MVP
However, several scouts attribute Alexander's astounding production to an ultra-talented Seahawks' offensive line that featured two Pro Bowlers (
As a poor blocker and a marginal receiver, Alexander offers little as a complementary player. Thus, he is viewed throughout the league as a "stop-gap" solution for a team that suffers from a catastrophic injury or has a roster full of underperforming runners during the preseason. Don't expect to see Alexander sign with a team until after training camps are under way.
• After earning his first Pro Bowl nomination at the end of 2007, Bills left tackle
While Peters has a legitimate gripe regarding his stature on the team, the Bills run the risk of setting a bad precedent by renegotiating his deal at this time. "There is a growing trend by players of wanting to return to the table, if their team signs a free agent at their position to a big contract," said a NFC personnel executive. "Players fail to recognize that the respective player went through the free agent process and several factors could've contributed to the size of the deal." In this case, the Bills proactively identified Peters as a budding star at the position and rewarded him with a five-year, $15.5 contract in 2006. Thus, heading back to the table only two years into the deal would encourage several of his teammates to voice their displeasure about their contracts.
The Bills must handle the Peters' situation correctly to prevent an onslaught of holdouts from their promising young players. The best scenario for the Bills would be for Peters to play this season under his current deal with the notion of renegotiating the contract at the end of the year. This would allow the Bills to accurately assess the market and offer a deal commensurate with Peters' stature as one of the top tackles in the league.
• The Broncos have reshuffled their linebacker corps in an attempt to boost their 30th-ranked rush defense.
Though it is Williams' third position change in his career, the move to Will 'backer gives him the opportunity to better utilize his athleticism as the Broncos' designated playmaker on defense. "Williams should definitely benefit from moving back to his natural position," said an NFC scout. "As a 'run-through' player he gets a chance to hit the gap from the backside and that should lead to more big plays from him."
Not all observers are sold on the rebuilt linebacker corps. "Bailey is a good athlete, but he is undersized and never developed into a consistent playmaker in Detroit," said another NFC scout. "Koutovides brings some toughness, but he isn't a great athlete or very instinctive in the middle... they may turn out to be a solid crew, but they all enter the season as question marks."
After missing the playoffs the past two seasons, the Broncos need their linebackers to step up to reverse the fortunes of an underachieving defense.
• The Bears' signing of
Despite the big contracts being passed out this offseason, several league officials expressed reservations about signing kickers to lucrative long term deals. "You want to be reasonable when considering re-signing kickers in this market," said a NFC personnel executive. "You never want to commit top money to the position because the position is so fickle. A top kicker can have a Pro Bowl season one year and spray the ball all over the place the following year... that's why it's better to pick up a young guy in the draft or off the street and move on when the guy is due to get paid."
The Cowboys are one of the franchises who have used an assortment of castoffs and street free agents to handle their placekicking duties for years. In fact, their only foray into the free agent market (
In spite of this sentiment, teams are continuing to commit big money to kickers and another big deal is on the horizon with Pro Bowler