DMN: a gentle giant says goodbye

QUOTE: “In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on.” -- Robert Frost

Merlin Olsen

Thursday, we said goodbye to Rams legend Merlin Olsen. Olsen was the second of two Rams first-round picks in 1962 (the other was quarterback Roman Gabriel) and went on to play 15 years in the NFL; 14 of them ended with him being selected to the Pro Bowl.

Olsen was a gentle giant who played the game with a quiet passion, demonstrating a controlled competitive streak that made him dominate the game. Olsen, Lamar Lundy, Rosie Grier and the great Deacon Jones formed the “Fearsome Foursome,” dominating the game and making the Rams’ front feared throughout the NFL.

When Jones was called by Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times for a reaction, Deacon said he needed time. Farmer wrote, “…Jones said he'd be happy to talk about Olsen on any other day but that doing so right away was too painful.”

Olsen was a great player, a great teammate and a great person. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Well done is better than well said.” That’s how Olsen lived his life on and off the field.

How rumors become stories

Yesterday, at the end of his segment on ESPN, John Clayton was asked what team he thought might have an interest in Terrell Owens. Clayton casually mentioned the Raiders, and before he was done speaking, a story was unfolding. Now, Clayton made it clear that this was speculation on his part since he didn’t know for certain that Owens was on the Raiders’ free agent radar.

For Hotel insiders, we all know that the Raiders are not going to bring in another big-name wide receiver and let 2009 first-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey sit on the sidelines for another year as the organization takes more jabs about him being a bust. Competition at the position is not something the Hotel’s top brass wants. So from a depth-chart standpoint, although the Raiders can be perceived as needing a wide receiver and Owens might make sense, it won’t happen. But all Clayton did was suggest. He didn’t say it would happen, but that didn’t stop the story from growing all day long.

The fun of free agency is sorting through what might happen, what could happen and what should happen.

Eagles and Ray Edwards -- and maybe another suggestion

When the Broncos tendered Brandon Marshall with just a first-round tender, everyone knew they would welcome a trade. But since the Vikings only tendered a first-round pick to Ray Edwards, are they suggesting the same? There’s a report from Bob Grotz of the Delaware Times that the Eagles are expecting to make a push to sign Edwards. Edwards would certainly help the Eagles’ rushing opposite Trent Cole and would give them a blue-chip front seven player they desperately need to improve their defense.

Are the Vikings hoping for an offer sheet from another team so they can just match a deal? Edwards has played well for the Vikings, and based on where they are as a football team, they might have a hard time replacing him with the first-round pick. If the Eagles make this move, they are clearly saying, based on their evaluations, that they can’t find a rusher with their first-round pick in this draft. If the Vikings failed to match, it would weaken their team unless they feel Brian Robison can assume the role.

However, the Vikings are very close, especially if Brett Favre returns, so it’s essential that they add to the team and not subtract quality players. This tender idea makes sense from the Eagles’ standpoint, but I’m not sure they could actually acquire Edwards.

Have a great weekend, and check back for the Sunday Post.

Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi

For a look at the top 10 teams of the decade, check out this article from Bleacher Report.

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