What We Learned This Week in the NFL Offseason:
- The Miami Dolphins locker room was a vile, disgusting place
- Emmanuel Sanders not expected back with Steelers
- Ravens and Suggs working on contract restructure
- Ray Rice is against bullying but for “minor physical altercations”
- Steelers GM Kevin Colbert on 2014 draft
The NFL season never truly stops. Even if the games are no longer being played there is still plenty to talk about when it comes to football. This week there was more than football on the table for discussion when Ted Well’s finally revealed his independent report on the dysfunctional Miami Dolphins locker room situation in regards to Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito. If you have some time to kill, and want to see just how gross and obscene dudes can be, you can read the entire report here.
The report details that not only was there a hostile and offensive environment inside Dolphins facilities due to the actions and remarks of Richie Incognito, but also because of fellow lineman John Jerry and Mike Pouncey. Even more the report details that not only was Jonathan Martin the primary target of most of the abuse, but another lineman, who would later be named as Andrew McDonald, and an assistant trainer were also targets of offensive and abusive bullying by Incognito, Jerry, and Pouncey. What is most surprising about this report, aside from just how utterly disgusting these guys behaved, was the fact that this seemingly went on with not only the knowledge of the coaching staff, but also the approval. The Dolphins have already gotten rid of former GM Jeff Ireland but HC Joe Philbin and offensive line coach Jim Turner (who was mentioned 90 times in the report) are still employed by the Dolphins.
I’m not going to go on a rant about locker room culture or codes or all that nonsense. What I’ll say is that I’m pretty confident in assuming that the Dolphins players have zero respect for Joe Philbin and not a whole lot of respect for themselves if they just sat idly by while these meat heads ran around like a bad combination of dumb jocks and mean girls. I don’t know if any of the players could have single-handedly sparked a chance or resolution to this nightmare better than just walking out like Jonathan Martin did, but I do know that this doesn’t happen if the head coach and organization sets any kind of standards for tolerated behavior on their premises. Clearly, the Dolphins did not. I don’t know what the future holds for the players and coaches involved but I hope that at least Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey got a good, sound beating from their mothers for crying out loud.
Multiple outlets are reporting, like it’s a friggin surprise or something, that the Steelers aren’t expected to re-sign WR Emmanuel Sanders once he officially becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Steelers really knew that going into this season when they matched a $2.5 million offer the New England Patriots made to him as a restricted free agent. They basically rented Sanders for the season, hoping that he could possibly fill in for Brown’s #2 spot since Brown was to be the #1 receiver in Mike Wallace’s absence. Possible landing spots for Sanders could be the Patriots or the New York Jets. Happy trails, buddy. There’s not enough money to spend on him so I think the team and Sanders part ways amicably.
Terrell Suggs’ name has been on the list of possible salary cap casualties for this offseason seeing as how he’s due to count a whopping $12.4 million against the Ravens cap in 2014. His cap is literally taking up as much space under the Ravens’ cap as his gums do in his mouth. GM Ozzie Newsome has hinted that he’s up for a restructure for Suggs, but isn’t afraid to let players who won’t take a pay cut walk for the greater good of the team. Suggs and the entire Ravens defense had an underwhelming season to pair with Flacco’s new propensity to toss interceptions in 2013, which was disappointing considering the fact that they finally could play without being in the shadow of Ray Lewis and his Nelly pre-game dances. Tough spot for Suggs, I hope they can come to terms on a deal so he doesn’t have to take those gums on the road.
Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice was arrested over the weekend after an altercation in an Atlantic City casino, according to the Baltimore Sun. Not surprisingly, according to the Sun, Rice’s attorney’s call the incident a “very minor physical altercation”. Both Rice and his fiance were arrested and released. Deadspin, good ole Deadspin, claims a tipster tells them that the incident was far from minor and involved a woman (presumably his fiance) spitting on Rice to which he responded with an uppercut, knocking her unconscious. Rice was recently involved in the USA Network’s “Characters Unite” program targeted at eliminating bullying. Irony.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, who doesn’t talk to the media during the regular season, spoke to reporters about the varying issues facing the Steelers this offseason. He spoke about the depth in this years’ draft, as well as the overwhelming number of underclassmen who’ve declared themselves eligible and the challenges involved in that.
“A lot of the depth of talent in the draft class is due to the influx of the underclassmen, but what I will also say in regards to that is, although it’s a talented group, it also has a bigger chance of failing because you’re going to get a lot of kids who aren’t physically or emotionally ready for the NFL. We’re concerned about how many of those players came out prematurely and won’t be ready for this next challenge. I think that we have to be able to sort through them, because they’re not all ready for this.” – Kevin Colbert
With this many underclassmen coming out in this years’ draft, a “culture change” in the NFL couldn’t come at a better time, don’t you think?