National Football League
February 21, 2008
Draft King Analysis
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
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Thanks to 1570 The Score (WSCO) in Appleton, WI for having me on today. We talked Packers football, the chances of Darren McFadden actually falling out of the top five, and much more. I also mentioned on the show I quote I found from Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert where he described this year's offensive line crop as the best class in the past 24 years.
In a surprising move, the New England Patriots have opted not to use their franchise tag on Randy Moss. Once Dallas used its tag on safety Ken Hamlin earlier today, all eyes were on the Patriots. But the 4 p.m. ET deadline came and went, and the tag was not applied. Because Moss restructured his contract less than a year ago, he was prohibited by NFL rules from being able to sign a new deal with the Patriots ahead of the start of free agency, which begins on 2/29.
|Is it one and out for Randy Moss in New England? (Icon SMI)
Many observers expect Moss to sign a new deal with the Patriots when he can, but you can never say never, particularly with the lure of possible big money on the free agent market. It will be quite intriguing to see how it plays out.
I've probably held onto Andre Woodson in the #3 QB spot for too long. I'm cheering for him to have a good combine, but short of that, there are scouts out there who are ranking both Michigan QB Chad Henne *and* Delaware QB Joe Flacco ahead of him as of now. And, unless Woodson is able to show improvement with his release time, he might find himself going much lower than expected.
With zero chatter about Donovan McNabb, it appears that the Eagles could be serious about bringing him back for 2008. That raises the ante that much more for Derek Anderson. Cleveland seems set on signing him to a three-year deal, but in my personal opinion it would be silly for Anderson to sign a contract now without seeing what the free agent market offers. If the Browns pull the three-year offer off the table and if Anderson can't find better out there, Anderson could always counter by signing the restricted free agent one-year tender and then hope to parlay that into a big deal on the open market in 2009.
The Browns did make a major move today in signing RB Jamal Lewis to a three-year contract. Lewis turns 29 before the season starts, and the word I heard out of Cleveland is that the Browns wanted to do a two-year deal but opted to sign him to a three-year contract rather than potentially lose him to free agency. Lewis might not have had the same success elsewhere that he had in his career rejuvenation in Cleveland in 2007, and he fits the Browns offense well.
Don't look now, but Virginia Tech CB Brandon Flowers is making a run at the somewhat wide-open fight for the top spot at the cornerback position. How he performs at the combine will play a major role in how many scouts view him going into the two month final stretch before the draft.
As for other players trending up, Michigan WR Mario Manningham is beginning to receive more attention from scouts. In my estimation, he still has work to do to move into first round consideration, but we'll see how he performs at the combine.