Thursday, March 5, 2009

Huge Personnel Moves Resulting In Very Little

This has been a big week for new contract for big stars so here is a look at some of the big names, what they signed and the expected outcome of the deals.

Manny Ramirez - 1 year, $25M with and player option for a second year at $20M with the Dodgers. Manny will sandbag for 3-4 months, angered that there was no market for him, that the Dodgers never upped their offer, and that he wound up taking less than half of his goal-contract. Then he will go nuts in August and September and bolt for a better deal elsewhere when the economy is improved. He will be pitched around a lot and the Dodgers will struggle with no protection for their new $25M marketing campaign.

Kurt Warner - 2 years, $23M with the Cardinals. Warner's "shopping around" routine was more convincing than Manny's and wound up winning him $3M extra on top of the Cards' original deal, so that's nice. And he is supposedly a great guy and is going to heaven and stuff, so that's cool. But also like Manny, he's not going back to the playoffs under this deal. His age is a problem. Anquan Boldin being gone is a problem. And trying to repeat as the "magical story-team" is a problem.

Terrell Owens - released by the Cowboys. Sometimes clubhouse issues get hyped in the press. We kinda throw around the old "clubhouse cancer" moniker pretty freely because it makes us sound like we really know what the hell is going on. But if you are among the best 2-3 players at your position in your generation and you keep getting released, I think it is safe to say that you are a clubhouse cancer. Where does he go next? Minnesota lost out on T.J. Houshmandzadeh but their coach was T.O.'s offensive coordinator in Phily previously. The Giants need a star at wide receiver but they're too character-happy to go for a slug (again). Miami is like a circus and could throw him into the mix, but Bill Parcells has worked with T.O. before and hated him. Oakland? San Diego? Cincinnati? Which team values character the least? Probably Cincy. But can they pony up the dough? Of course, with just better than average numbers last year, the dough may not be all that tough to pony up? Will there really be a bidding war for this toad?

Ray Lewis - 3 years, $22M with the Ravens. Lewis had one of his best season last year and hasn't killed anyone in nearly a decade (as far as we know), so he was rewarded with a potentially career-ending contract with the only team he's ever been on. Will Lewis' recent admission that he would love to play for the Cowboys hurt his "devotion to the team" quotient this season? Probably not because if anyone doubts him, he might kill them. Lewis' dominance will slowly fade as he gets fatter. The Ravens will miss the playoffs this year and he just won't be a serious threat for too much longer after that.

Laveranues Coles - 4 years, $28M with the Bengals. The only way you will ever hear of Coles in the next four years is when he is invariably arrested.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh - 5 years, $40+M with the Seahawks. The only way you will ever hear of Housh in the next five years is when the story leaks that the quietly asked the team for a new quarterback (because he's a good guy and won't get arrested or demand a trade in the media when he sees how bad a decision it was signing with Seattle).

Matt Cassel - traded to Kansas City. 12 touchdowns, 20 interceptions, 6-10. And so ends the story of Matt Cassel.

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