Friday, February 20, 2009

Jets to court Ravens linebackers?

Did the Jets just create a little more space for Ray Lewis or Bart Scott? You could certainly make that argument because one thing is very clear – the Jets need help at inside linebacker.

Yesterday Rex Ryan’s new team released LB’s David Bowens and Brad Kassell freeing up an additional $3 Million in cap space. According to the departing Bowens, "They must be targeting a linebacker, probably from Baltimore."

Turn on the news and we are “treated” with a steady diet of depressing economic developments. Apparently the NFL has posted a detour sign for the bad economy because dollars are being thrown around like it’s monopoly money. Here’s a quick rundown:

In Carolina…Jordan Gross lands a record six-year contract worth just under $60 million that will pay out $30.5 million in the first three years of the deal. The $30.5 million over the deal’s first three years is highest ever for an offensive lineman…Julius Peppers is tagged and will get $16.683 million for a job he doesn’t want. Gee life sucks JP.

In Tennessee…Rob Bironas inked a deal that will pay him $12 million over four years, along with $5 million in guarantees. The deal makes Bironas one of the richest kickers in the league…Meanwhile, it looks like the franchise tag was burning a hole in Jeff Fisher’s pocket so he plunked it down on the great TE Bo Scaife who gets $4.46 million for his troubles. He should send a thank you note to the Ravens…On a side note, while channel surfing last night after 10:30, I stumbled upon Comcast Sportsnet’s program Redskins Nation hosted by Larry Michael. He ridiculed the Titans for franchising Scaife and not Albert Haynesworth. Hey Larry, get a clue! Even casual fans know that Haynesworth’s recently expired deal with the Titans prevented them from franchising the All-Pro defensive tackle. Michael should be thankful that Comcast Sportsnet doesn’t have a salary cap.

In Oakland...where senility has its privileges (for agents), Nnamdi Asomugha signed a complex three year deal. The first two years, worth $28.5 million, are fully guaranteed. In the third year of the contract, if Oakland wants to keep Asomugha, it must pay him the average of the top five highest-paid quarterbacks or $16.875 million, whichever is higher. If the Raiders fail to pick up Asomugha’s option, the stellar Pro Bowl corner will become a free agent with Oakland not having the ability to tag him again. He will be 30 years old after the 2010 season and 31 when the contract expires, positioning him nicely for a final lucrative contract. Asomugha’s size suggests that he could follow Ronnie Lott’s and Rod Woodson’s career path from corner to safety…Following the credo/cliché, “strike while the iron is out”, agent Tom Condon nailed another record breaking deal for a second Raider client while taking advantage of the diminished mental capacities of Raiders owner Al Davis. Punter Shane Lechler, a four-time Pro Bowler agreed to a four year deal worth $16 million. That is the richest contract ever for a punter.

Did anyone remind Mr. Davis that the league still operates under the salary cap?

In Indianapolis...the Colts agreed to shell out $43 million over 5 years including $22.5 million to CB Kelvin Hayden. Hayden, a four year vet, is best known for his pick six against the Bears in Super Bowl XLI. Hayden has 6 career interceptions, 3 in 2008 – 1 more than Haloti Ngata.

Photo by Sabina Moran