What We Learned This Week in the NFL Offseason:
- No one wants to play in Miami
- Peyton continues his wild free agency ride for another week
- Saints discipline for Bounty-Gate to come down soon
- More wide receivers that aren’t Wallace get signed
Another week in the NFL offseason has come and gone and some interesting developments in free agency have shown that not a whole lot of players are signing in Miami despite all the gaping holes in their roster. After Peyton officially informed Miami that they were not getting a rose and advancing to the next round of his version of the Bachelor, he informed Arizona they were out of the hunt as well and out of nowhere San Francisco has joined in the contest. The Saints are expecting their discipline for their part in former Defensive Coordinator Gregg William’s institution of a bounty program, while Drew Brees went on an interview kick claiming ignorance to the whole thing. All of the suspected teams looking in Mike Wallace’s direction have signed WR’s not named Mike Wallace and it’s looking like the Steelers gamble just might pay off, for now.
Not only does Peyton not want to play in Miami, but former Aaron Rogers backup QB Matt Flynn doesn’t want to play their either. Peyton officially turned Miami down last week and Matt Flynn, who was expected to sign a big contract because of impressive numbers in one start last season, signed a 3 year deal with Seattle without even visiting Miami. The Dolphins were expected to be the front runner to land Flynn since new HC Joe Philbin was Flynn’s OC in Green Bay. It was pretty clear that the Dolphins didn’t go heavy after Flynn in the first place so either they whiffed again big time or Philbin might be on the inside track to thinking Flynn could be Kevin Kolb 2.0. In other Miami news, former underachieving quarterback Chad Henne signed with the Dolphins this week as well. The Dolphins have suddenly emerged as showing interest in 49er free agent Alex Smith, who realized this week that his douche bag head coach was cheating on him with Peyton Manning. As a total bystander to this drama, I find the Miami situation completely fascinating. It’s very intriguing to see what QB they might actually land or will they be forced to think that Matt Moore, who started the second half of the year for the Fins, will be the next in line to not fill Dan Marino’s shoes.
As the Peyton world turns, reports came out late last week that not only had Peyton been able to meet secretly with the 49ers, but he had also worked out for them and took a physical. The teams remaining on his list are Denver, San Francisco, and Tennessee. Peyton could come out with his “The Decision” this week, or he could drag it out a little bit longer, it’s really his call. Seems like Tennessee is throwing everything at him short of a statue outside the stadium, there’s even been talk that he’s been offered part ownership in the team once he retires if he wants. I’m sure once the news finally does break, Twitter will shut down and once again the “P” in ESPN will stand for “Peyton”. This part of free agency is getting uninteresting by the second.
There have been several reports that the Saints and Gregg Williams could hear from the league regarding their punishment for the Bounty-Gate scandal that was upstaged by Peyton Watch 2012 a couple weeks ago. Listening to as much sports talk radio as I do, I heard several interviews with Drew Brees last week as he was promoting something or other and I found it very interesting that Brees was claiming ignorance on the whole thing when asked about his knowledge of the bounty system in the locker room. Part of me appreciates Brees wanting to hang on to his nice-guy image but he acted as if these were just allegations unfounded by any proof instead of acknowledging the fact that Williams himself admitted to not only running the bounty system, but knowing it was wrong and running it with the knowledge and approval of the Sean Payton and the front office. I’m calling BS if Brees wants to say that he had no idea what was going on when defensive players were wagering over who could take out the opposing team’s quarterbacks to ensure the Saints’ chances at victory. The real loser in this whole story will be the St. Louis Rams, who currently employ Williams as a DC and will no doubt be without his services for some period of time.
Still no big news out of Pittsburgh in regards to any free agents being signed. The biggest story is the non-signing of Mike Wallace. San Francisco has already signed Randy Moss to a one year deal and just recently snagged Giants WR Mario Manningham as well. The Patriots, added Brandon Lloyd to the roster, who will most likely take over snaps for Ochocino, who is still trying to comprehend the playbook. While it’s looking like the gamble to place the tender on Wallace just might pay off for the Steelers, they’re not out of the woods yet. If Denver lands Peyton Manning, they could add Wallace for a target opposite Demaryius Thomas for Manning to throw to, and Cincy still has the cap room and extra 1st round draft pick to keep them in the loop as well. If the gamble does pay off and Wallace goes unsigned by another team, the Steelers should definitely make it their quest to sign him to a long term deal because entering next year’s offseason with Wallace as an unrestricted free agent and Antonio Brown a restricted free agent is not where the Steelers need to be. All we can do is speculate and wait and watch it all play out.
**Update** As of noon est. ESPN has reported Peyton is working a deal with the Denver Broncos. Tebow most likely to be traded.
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