Thursday, June 26, 2008

No news is good news during NFL's Dead Zone


NFL executives, coaches and players usually use this down time – the Dead Zone during the NFL calendar year to be with their families, get away from football a bit and prepare mentally and physically for the rigors of the NFL season that awaits them.

League news and stories are relatively thin during this period. The welcome break from the silence can arrive in the form of a rookie or free agent signing. The silence can also be broken by unwelcomed news which far too often originates from a police blotter.

This Dead Zone appears to be no different.

First up is the story of Javon Walker. Now according to reports Walker was robbed and beaten in Las Vegas by a thug named Arfat Fadel and an accomplice who allegedly stole $3,000 in cash and another $100,000 in jewelry.

A $100,000 in jewelry!

Now Walker supposedly joined these two men willingly before he was beaten and literally kicked to the curb. This is the same Javon Walker who just signed a 6 year, $55 million deal with the Raiders this offseason. This is the same Javon Walker who was with the late Broncos’ cornerback Darrent Williams who was gunned down after an altercation in Denver.

Stories have surfaced that the altercation in Denver started with players spraying champagne on nearby patrons during a New Year’s Eve celebration. Recent reports suggest that Walker was guilty of the same prank in a Vegas club.

How dumb is Javon Walker?

Jevon with an “e” as in Kearse was arrested and charged with DUI and a violation of Tennessee's implied consent law for failing to take the breathalyzer test. Kearse, aka “The Freak” didn’t have his freak on when he was stopped early Sunday morning after Vanderbilt University campus police reported seeing Kearse’s SUV weaving across the road.

Some of you may recall that prior to Kearse signing with the Eagles in 2004 the Ravens entertained the idea of signing the pass rush specialist. Negotiations hit a road block when Kearse refused to take a physical prior to any contract offer. Kearse has had trouble staying on the field since playing in just 46 of the Eagles 64 regular season games over the course of 4 seasons, registering 86 tackles and 22 sacks.

“I’m a freak of nature,” Kearse said when he signed with the Eagles. “I do a lot of things ordinary people wouldn’t be able to do. As far as performance and playing my position, I’m a freak out there.”

Jevon got one thing right. A lot of ordinary even extraordinary people couldn’t make $476,744 per tackle or put another way, $1.86 million per sack. Kearse signed an eight year, $66 million deal with Eagles in ’04 that included a $16 million signing bonus.

Not all of the offseason legal issues are police blotter items. Former Raven Michael McCrary hit paydirt when Judge Paul Albert awarded the retired defensive end $33 million in an insurance fraud case in Baltimore Circuit Court. McCrary said the judgment "feels refreshing", according to the (Baltimore) Daily Record.

One Raven who could be on the short end of a judge’s stick is none other than Ray Lewis. Profession Events, LLC in Arizona is said to be suing Lewis, claiming he never paid for hostesses he hired for a Super Bowl party back in February. The company claims that Lewis failed to keep repeated promises that they would be paid the $5,780 owed.

Speaking of Ray, someone recently emailed me and asked my opinion on the five toughest Ravens. Interesting question I thought because it’s pretty easy to spout off the obvious. Here’s my Top 5 along with a few honorable mentions(some may surprise you) in no particular order…

1. Ray Lewis ~ How could he not be?
2. Peter Boulware ~ Played one season with his arm in a sling and still was a Pro Bowler
3. Michael McCrary ~ Never said, “Die.”
4. Gary Stills ~ Ask any Ravens’ player…
5. Kelly Gregg ~ See above

Honorable mention: Sam Gash, Kyle Boller, Eric Turner, James Trapp, Adalius Thomas, Corey Ivy, Ed Reed, Bart Scott, Jarret Johnson, Chad Williams

On the flip side, I decided to take my answer a step further and list my Top 5 softest Ravens which I will collectively label my All-Ravens Charmin Team:

1. Clarence Moore ~ T-Rex, Alligator Arms and other anatomical descriptions come to mind
2. Elvis Grbac ~ There’s no crying in football!
3. DeRon Jenkins ~ Melba Toast for denture wearers
4. David Pittman ~ All too happy to sit on the sidelines
5. Chris Chester ~ Apparent lack of motivation has him on the brim of BUST-dom.

Photo by Sabina Moran

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

Stevon Moore was one of the toughest Ravens that I've seen. I think he's top 5 material!

I would also nominate Antonio Langham for the Charmin team.

Tuff Enuff said...

Travis Taylor has to be among the softest Ravens of all time. And what about that punter who used to paint his fingernails black. Greg Montgomery? Oh and I think Deion Sanders is deserving of some consideration too!

I agree on Steven Moore for the tough category. Woodson was pretty tough also.

85 Rocks! said...

Kim Herring was soft. Dwan Edwards is soft. Dare I say that Mark Clayton is soft. What about Dan Cody?

Javon Walker is dumb!

I can't believe that no one mentioned Derrick Mason as tough!

RickChaney said...

Dan Cody reminds me of those champaign glass pyramids. All you have to do is touch it and they will fall down and break. He is to the Ravnes what Jeffery Hammonds was to the O's.