Does Suspension Mark the End of Adrian Peterson Being the Best NFL Running Back

Will this suspension be the end of Peterson being an elite player?

Will this suspension be the end of Peterson being an elite player?

With the announcement that Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson will be suspended for the rest of the season, the Vikings franchise is at a critical crossroad. With three years remaining on the 96 $Million Deal that Peterson received in  2011, the Vikings will owe 13$ million to Peterson next year. However, if the team cuts him before the season it would only put a 2.4 $ Million cap penalty on the team in 2015.  While it may seem inconceivable that even after everything that has occurred this season that the Vikings would get rid of their franchise player, it’s time to move on.

Running backs are always tricky in the NFL. one season they can go from Pro Bowl players to the next an offensive hinderance. Minnesota could try to move Peterson for some draft picks, but with a 13$million dollar cap hit in 2015, the off the field issues, and the fact that he won’t play for almost a full season will make it almost impossible to move Peterson for a decent return. Instead, the Vikings should look to rebuild around their young quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and continue to build around the strong young nucleus of players on the roster.

Let’s face it, sometimes it’s better to get rid of a player one year early rather than a year too late. Peterson may have taken off almost the entire season, which some will view as a rest period for the running, but he’s still had plenty of wear on his tires. He’s already passed the 2,000 carry mark in his career, a barometer many coaches around the NFL view as the peak of a running back’s career and after that milestone many  running backs are on the downside of their career. Peterson will also turn 30 in March, another infamous landmark for NFL backs that indicates the beginning of decline.

Peterson's day in court might have been the final straw in Minnesota

Peterson’s day in court might have been the final straw in Minnesota

Can Peterson still be effective? Of course, but it’s unfair to assume that he will be the great runner he has been. Peterson can not handle the load or be the sole focal point of an offense. Where Peterson will play in 2015 is still a distant thought but it will be interesting to see if he is on a new team, what role will he play?

As for the Vikings, this is not a total loss. They still have a young developing quarterback and will have more than 10 $Million under the cap if they release Peterson. Let’s not forget that despite his greatness Peterson has only one playoff win as a Viking with three playoff losses. Unfortunately, running backs can get a team to the post season, but in today’s NFL a team needs a quarterback to win in the playoffs. So for the Minnesota Vikings, it’s time to move on from Peterson. Even if he still has a good year or two left in the tank, the team needs to prepare for the long-term because they are not a Super Bowl contender.

 

Sit Geno! Why the New York Jets Need to Start Michael Vick

After another heartbreaking loss for the New York Jets this past Monday to the Chicago Bears, it may be time for Rex Ryan to go with veteran Michael Vick to save the 2014 season. After two games where the Jets were in prime position to win, they instead find themselves asking what happened after losing both games.

Vick time in NYC?

Vick time in NYC?

Realistically the Jets could be a 3-0 football team right now instead of being 1-2. The biggest problem? The secondary has had it’s fair share of problems but it is still not the number one problem for Gang Green. Simply put the turner overs.

In my personal opinion I think Geno has shown improvement in both the passing game and as a leader, yet he still has a long way to go. Despite his flashes Smith still turns the ball over way too much. After three games Smith has four interceptions and two fumbles, with three of those turnovers occurring in the red zone.  Three touchdowns to six turnovers isn’t exactly a flattering stat line.

The Jets have proven that they can run the football very effectively while playing solid defense in the first three games. However, the turnovers have killed this team in the early going and has cost them games.

Time for Smith to take a seat?

Time for Smith to take a seat?

Listen, Geno Smith can still develop into a good starter in this league but needs to be pulled off the field. Michael Vick is this team’s best chance to win right now. Does Vick historically have problems turning the ball over? Yes, but his best season was with Marty Mornhinweg in Philadelphia. If anything Geno Smith should watch Vick and learn the nuances of the offense from the bench.

Has Smith played better than last season? Yes, but it’s the mistakes and turnovers that are killing this offense. Not to mention this was an 8-8 team last season and that does not make the playoffs.

If Smith runs backwards for another 15 yard sack Rex Ryan might start stress eating again. Geno Smith has shown a lot of nice things this season such as his ability to run and extend plays and better passing ability, but he still has many things to work on.  Don’t forget Smith is still a very young quarterback and has plenty of years ahead of him if he can properly develop. Michael Vick on the other hand still has something left in the tank and could be the missing piece to this offense. With the shootouts the Jets could be in the next few weeks, it only makes sense to put in a quarterback who can move the ball effectively in this offensive system.

If the Jets want to rebound and turnaround the season, Rex Ryan should put Vick into the starting role to see what he can do.

 

Why Johnny Maziel Pick Will Haunt Cleveland Browns

He has been a target for criticism over the past few years.

Savior? More like a nightmare in Cleveland

Savior? More like a nightmare in Cleveland

The persona that Johnny Manziel, or should I say Johnny Football has created over his college and early NFL career is incredible. It’s MTV meets Rudy with a pinch of fantasy. In terms of his presence in the media Johnny Manziel has been a complete success. It’s rare to see any sports outlet not talking about this lightning rod from Texas. In short, Johnny Manziel is Tim Tebow 2.0. Better player, same unnecessary attention.

However, Manziel is something different for Cleveland Browns fans. A symbol of hope.

In a franchise that has been built on futility and despair for almost 60 years, Manziel is a beacon of hope that the franchise has gone all in on. Unfortunately, this will be the biggest disappointment for the Browns since the original franchise moved to Baltimore in 1995.

What you say? How can you say that? It’s only been a preseason. Sorry Browns fans this is not the savior. Don’t get me wrong, I think Johnny can play in this league, he’s just not a player a franchise can be built solely around. If anything Manziel will be like a young Michael Vick. A player who on the highlight real will show off a great deep ball or a 50 yard scramble for a 30 second highlight. But he will never be a consistent quarterback in the NFL. One week he will light it up while the next week he will throw three interceptions. Great quarterback on Sports Center, not in a four quarter NFL game.

Why am I so sure, just look at this past few weeks. This preseason Manziel couldn’t even beat out journeyman Brian Hoyer for the starting job. Why? a 50 % completion rate magnified with errant throws against vanilla second teams defenses is not a good sign. Looking around the league it seems like every other rookie signal caller including ones that the Browns could have selected have outperformed Johnny.

Blake Bortles has played well enough to earn the starting job in Jacksonville, but ore importantly the quarterbacks on the board when the Browns were picking have looked much better. Derek Carr will start in Oakland and has shown off a big arm and the ability to move the football around the field. Teddy Bridgewater has shown that while he may need a little more time to develop could be a solid game manager and starter right now. Even late draft pick Zach Mettenberger has shown flashes in the preseason. Johnny? After a decent showing in the first preseason, the usually loud Manziel was rather quite over the next three weeks.

The other cause for concern? Did you see Texas A&M against South Carolina? Originally people thought that Johnny Manziel made coach Kevin Sumlin. Now we’ve learned it’s the other way around. In Sumlin’s offense sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill played his first SEC game on the road against No. 9 South Carolina. In his first game Hill light up the scoreboard with 511 passing yards and broke all of Johnny’s individual game records in his first start. Looks like Sumlin knows how to coach offense.

Sorry Cleveland, on the bright side Lebron James is back, but if you expect Johnny Manziel to be the football savior for the Browns, prepare for only more heartbreak.

ELIte? Manning not an Elite Quarterback?

Eli Manning an elite quarterback? I’m not buying it.Eli-Manning-Manning-Face-Hall-Of-Fame-Game Throughout his career Manning has always flirted with the elite status bouncing from Super Bowl hero to an interception machine. Entering his eleventh season in the NFL it is safe to say that Eli Manning is not an elite quarterback.

For the Giants fans who are most certainly screaming at the top of their lungs that this is blasphemy there are many reasons that Eli is not an elite quarterback. However, he is still a very good quarterback and probably a top ten quarterback in this league. This is why he is not an elite quarterback.

Most critics would argue that the two Super Bowl rings that Manning has accumulated is proof that he is an elite quarterback. Well, not exactly. True it is one more ring then his brother Peyton, who is clearly the more talented of the two, but this is misleading.

In 2011 there is no question that Eli carried that Giants team to the Super Bowl and played a superb game against the Patriots. Even in 2007 he did have a good postseason. The problem? The Giants defense carried them throughout those playoffs and in the Super Bowl. Let’s not forget that the Giants’ defense allowed only 14 points to a Patriots offense which, before this years Broncos, had scored the most points in a season. If the Giants didn’t beat the Patriots when the defense held Brady and company to 14 points you don’t think Eli would have been run out-of-town?

Another reason why Eli is not elite is he is one of the streakiest quarterbacks I have ever seen. He’s either on or off, nowhere in between. Just look at his postseason career. In his two Super Bowl runs Manning threw 15 touchdowns to 2 interceptions. His other postseason starts have been disasters. Not only are the Giants one and down in those playoffs but Manning has only 2 touchdowns to 5 interceptions.

When we think of elite quarterbacks they are consistent. We all know what to expect out of elite signal callers like Peyton Manning, Rodgers, Brees, and Brady ever season. Eli is either great or terrible. Last season was the third time in his career where he led the NFL in interceptions. Put it this way, Geno Smith threw less interceptions as a rookie with less talent around him then Eli Manning with a better team and who has played in the NFL over ten years. I’m sorry, but elite players don’t lead the league in mistakes three times.

Manning still is a capable quarterback. He still is a great quarterback in the fourth quarter and two-minute drill. Also, when he is on he is one of the best in the game. Unfortunately for Manning, the Giants offense is rebuilding and he does;t have the pieces to be a contender. Unless Eli can finish his career strong and with some consistency, he will never be considered an elite NFL quarterback.

Tebow Comeback? Which NFL Team Should Take a Shot?

 

Tim Tebow is getting ready for another attempt to play in the NFL. The lightning rod for criticism will once again try to prove that he is indeed an NFL player as he continues to workout in hopes of a call from an NFL franchise. The 26-year-old still remains adamant that he will play quarterback and refuses to change positions. There is no question that the circus that follows Tebow wherever he seemingly travels will make it difficult for a team to give Tebow a chance. It’s hard to win with distractions in the NFL and like it or not Tim Tebow is a major distraction. However, there is one NFL team that should seriously consider bringing in Tebowmania.

After surveying the NFL landscape I found one landing spot that would be a great match for both Tebow and the team. No, it’s not Jacksonville but they are in the same division. What about the Houston Texans?video-working-out-with-tim-tebow-vert

Not buying it huh? Let me explain. Houston has a major problem at quarterback. This year the Texans will go into the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick, Case Keenum, and rookie Tom Savage. And people wonder why Andre Johnson is upset with the Texans collection of quarterbacks.

The problem is that Savage and Keenum are both still very raw prospects who need another year or two to develop. They both have great upside and I really like their potential, but exposing them too soon could break their confidence heading forward. Fitzpatrick is a decent game manager, but that is about it. With a talented defense that could be a top unit in the NFL, a great rushing attack, and the weakest division in the NFL the Texans shouldn’t settle for an average signal caller like Fitzpatrick.

Instead they should go for broke and bring in Tebow. Fitzpatrick is already there to provide a solid backup plan in case the Tebow experiment fails. However, with his effect on the running game and ability to throw the ball deep Tebow would be a nice fit in the Texans offense. Tebow’s affect running the read option will help open holes for running back Arian Foster and allow Foster to have a big season.

Not only will his presence help the running game, but also with the speed the Texans receivers have Tebow only needs to hit a few deep throw a game to have success in Houston. With the weak conference they play in, Tebow could make the Texans a playoff team. We’ve seen this in Denver with a less talented defensive team and a running back that was not the same caliber as Arian Foster. With a better supporting cast and a ferocious drive to succeed Tim Tebow could be a successful quarterback with the Texans.

Granted, it would not be as a normal quarterback. Rather than using short throws to set up the deep ball, Tebow can use his legs and his supporting running game to set up the deep throws which he has greater success with. Would there be throws that will make any NFL fan cringe, yes, but Tebow could be the piece that gets Houston into the postseason.

How you ask? Despite his flaws there is one thing that Tebow is great at throughout his high school, college and professional career. Winning.

Revis Wanted to be A Jet? I’m not Buying it !!

 

In a recent interview with Fox Sports New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis revealed that New England wasn’t his first choice in free agency. Revis revealed friday that he had his agent reach out to the  New York Jets but New York never responded to his request.

Did Revis really want to return to New York?

Did Revis really want to return to New York?

However, you can never really take what Revis says seriously. The star corner has been notorious for bluffing in order to get the money he feels he deserves. It has also been reported that the Jets did reach out to Revis but the star corner refused to listen.

While we will probably never fully know what happened in this he said they said debate, one thing is for certain, it is highly unlikely that Revis will ever play for the Jets again.

With the contract disputes and disruptions in the locker room, despite his great talent and the love Rex Ryan has for the former Jet it’s hard to fathom that the two will ever get back together especially after the nasty divorce last offseason.

However, in 2014 Revis will look to regain his status as the league’s top corner as he tries to reinvigorate. the Patriots depleted secondary.