*Some may question whether or not Carson Palmer really has a burning desire to play and win, but those who know the Cardinals’ new QB say he does. He just has been looking for a good team environment. He didn’t want to put up with the antics of some of his teammates in Cincinnati where the coaches allowed the players to use the team for self promotion. He told friends, “It was just a few guys, but it took a toll on some of the guys and me.” In Oakland, the Raiders have been going through a transition since the death of Al Davis. People close to Palmer say he is refocused and energized about his new team and opportunity.
*The theory that there is concerted effort by NFL teams to hold back on big free agency contracts is gaining momentum amongst players, agents and the NFLPA. There is no hard proof, but many agents are saying that is sounds like teams are reading from the same script. Players over 30 seem to be especially be targeted. As one veteran agent put it, “There is definitely something fishy going on. There are usually a few teams who make a big splash in free agency but this year it seems like everyone is working with a governor tied to their check books.”
*The Falcons are serious about trading up in the draft for a couple of reasons. First, they believe they are close to being a championship team, and one player could make a difference. Second, teams that are interested in trading up are in a buyer’s market. Many more teams are interested in trading down than up. That means the Falcons could get a good value in a trade.
*One player who could be creeping up the board in the first round is Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, who could be the object of the Falcons’ desire. As clearly the best tight end in the draft, Eifert is becoming more attractive as the draft draws near. In addition to being the best tight end, Eifert is seen as one of the safer picks at any position in the draft. There is some feeling that a team could try to trade up to the middle of the first round to get him. He could go in the teens, maybe even the early teens.
*One front office man is absolutely convinced the Giants will go for a tight end or linebacker at 19. For them to take a tight end, Eifert likely would have to still be on the board. And the only linebacker worth taking at that point might be Georgia’s Alec Ogletree, unless the Giants are high on Manti Te’o.
*After the Chiefs players have been around the facility for awhile, the team has the feeling this is a very hungry group. The locker room clearly was very disappointed with how the team played below expectations last year, and the players see the new opportunity presented by Andy Reid as a chance to redeem themselves.
*Agents of veteran free agents like Tyson Clabo, Eric Winston, Israel Idonije, Karlos Dansby, Brian Urlacher and Andre Smith are looking forward to the week after the draft. They believe the market should pick up and the logjam will be broken after teams go through the draft process. There definitely should be more interest in some of those players at that time. The question is if there will be more money.
JAN 20 Tony Villiotti
Following Monday's announcement of those declaring for the Draft, a look at the numbers.
JAN 19 Jeff Fedotin
Chiefs' special teams coordinator has unique football mind.
JAN 16 Tony Villiotti
Are certain positions more reliant on early round picks?