Thursday, July 24, 2008

Camp Notes - 7/24

Here's a few pieces of news from various camps around the NFL - as of this weekend, everyone will have opened camp and we'll be off and running!

Westbrook and Sheppard Both Show to Camp
Well, the worries of Westy not showing up and possibly causing a ruckus are not coming to fruition - Westbrook is too much of a leader in the clubhouse for that to happen. The Eagles will probably try to make something happen for him this season, but for now, he'll play ball. Any worry you had for his fantasy value should vaporize. Lito Sheppard is also unhappy with his contract but he showed for two very different reasons - 1) Asante Samuel doesn't make him expendible but does enable the Iggles to tow a hard line with him and 2) Starting opposite Samuel could make his numbers improve quite a bit, allowing him to make even more bank down the road. I think a lot of IDP owners are looking at Samuel - don't forget Sheppard. He might be a sneaky guy to target late in your draft or auction. Not huge numbers to come, by any means - but he could get targeted more than Samuel.

LaMont Jordan Countdown Starts..... NOW
Jordan and his agent have been waiting for Davis and Kiffin to dump the once highly touted RB on the roadside for months now, even farther back than the Draft and the arrival of Darren McFadden. Why it's taken so long for us to see it happen is anyone's guess - but when it comes to Davis, just be thankful they haven't hired a guy who runs a bed and breakfast to run the defense. Cause that would be madness. Anyway, Jordan and his agent were threatening to appear at Training Camp and force the team's hand (if he shows up the Raiders have to allow him to play - or escort him off the field and pretty much release him quickly thereafter). Rumor has it the Saints and Lions could be interested - I like ProFootballTalk's idea better and it would make for some entertaining TV. Regardless, as PFT points out, Jordan will join a ton of unemployed running backs out there and his fantasy value is only as a long shot hail mary at the end of your draft.

More Raider Problems
As if that isn't enough, both Javon Walker and Ronald Curry (two fairly important weapons for sophomore QB JaMarcus Russell) are gimpy in camp. Jason Jones' Sacramento Bee Blog is saying that Walker and Curry will be held to once a day practices as they nurse themselves back to health. I've said many times how much I dislike Walker thsi year and everything about him right now. His Vegas troubles, his fatness in the OTAs. As much as I dislike him, I like Curry. I think Walker falls flat and Curry gets a lot of looks. That's my thought. Apparently, Jones says that Walker has dropped a whole 8 lbs between the OTAs and now. WOW - somebody call Jenny Craig, I have the next big weight loss program!

Both guys are banged up and hopefully the once a day practices will help heal them, but if you have to draft a Raider reciever - and I will be clear here that NOBODY SAYS YOU HAVE TO - I urge you to look at Curry (who looked good in OTAs) and not Walker (who looked fat and bad in OTAs).

This Just In: Anquan Boldin still Disgruntled
The disgruntling is no real news - we've been tracking this for weeks. But the fact that - according to The East Valley Tribune - Boldin feels 'betrayed' and he's been lied to. Let's play He Says/She Says (or Team Says): Boldin says they promised him a new contract. They say - well nothing. Wisely the Cards haven't really entered into a war of words they can't win, merely reiterating several times how valuable he is to the offense. As was pointed out by Rotoworld, he's already on his second contract since he was drafted - he's already had it altered and extended. They'll try to make him happy, but at some point, enough is enough. How many tiems do you restructure the same contract only to have more asked for? I know we were aware this would happen when Fitzgerald got his dollars, but you have to wonder what is going through the midns of the Cards and the fans at this point. I don't think we'll see a drop off in his play if he is unhappy - he'll still have good fantasy value and is too much of a pro to sulk ala Moss in Oakland.

Jets Sign Gholston, Discover Yet Another Reason Why Pennington Sucked in '07
The Jets have signed Vernon Gholston to what Daily News Blogger Rich Cimini calls a staggering amount for a rookie. I don't know if Cimini is aware but the guys ahead of Gholston have signed for far more guarenteed. I'm not saying 9 mill is dirt cheap - but compared to $30? It's dirt cheap. The escalation of rookie guarenteed money is a subject for another day but he does have one point - Gholston had better be good. Mangini is running out of NY of the normally endless patience of the NY fan faithful. Do I have to write /sarcasm or is it obvious?

As for Pennington a blog at the NY Post is saying Pennington played with two torn ligaments in his right ankle last season. Apparently it happened against the Pats during the first game they played. Maybe the Jets can get some video from the Pats to confirm it? No?

As the commentary under the blog post put it - this explains the red zone INTs last season? Well, maybe not. I'll give Chad this - he's a tough SOB. But I don't know he's the future for this franchise. Unfortunately I don't know he's a short term answer either - and the Jets put a lot of money out there in a way that looks like they want to win now. Is Clemens the answer? By the looks of last season, no.

Whatever the answer is the Jets had best figure it out - time is running short for the staff and another horrific season with this team will bring out the sharp knives.

I would say - like the Raiders - nobody is FORCING you to draft a Jets QB. And as much as I love the team, I can't direct you towards either one. Thomas Jones, behind that revamped Oline might be a nice play but if nobody can get a throw off, 8 men in a box could make for an ugly season there too. Hopefully camp will give us some idea of how bad off this offense is. For now, even Coles and Cotchery are shakier options than they were just a couple of short years ago. They should still get lots of targets - whether it is from Dink'n'Dunk Chad or Clemens with the big arm.

More to come later on.....

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