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Sports Then and Now



Biggest Winners and Losers (So Far) in the NFL Frenzy 11

Posted on July 28, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Sidney Rice will be going in a new direction as a member of the Seattle Seahawks.

We are just three days into the NFL’s high-end version of a swap meet, but it is already clear that some teams have money to burn and are burning it as quick as they can. It will, of course, be months before we can determine the real winners and losers from these last few days, but here are some of the players and teams that seem to have done well and others that have not fared as well so far.

Smiling All The Way To The Bank

Charles Johnson and DeAngelo Williams – Carolina Panthers – Typically one of the stingier teams in the NFL, the Carolina Panthers whipped out the check book to retain two of their top veterans.

Johnson, who is coming off an 11.5 sack season in 2010, was one of the more sought-after players in free agency, but the Panthers didn’t give him any chance to get away as they agreed to a six-year $72 million contract (with #32 million guaranteed) the first day they could talk.

Though he was limited to just six games and 361 yards rushing in 2010, the Panthers agreed to a five-year, $43 million contract ($21 million guaranteed) with Williams. If he is healthy, it is a great move because it gives the Panthers one of the better one-two punches in the league with Williams (1,515 yards rushing in 2008, 1,117 in 2009) and Jonathan Stewart (1,133 yards in 2009, 770 yards in 2010).

Sidney Rice – Seattle Seahawks – Like Williams, Sidney Rice missed much of the 2010 season due to injury and is now being rewarded with a huge contract (five-years for $41 million with $18 million guaranteed). If he is able to repeat the success he had with Minnesota in 2009 (83 catches, 1,312 yards), then the signing will be a good one for Seattle. However, given that in his other three NFL seasons Rice has only 63 catches for 817 yards, you have to wonder at least a little if his success was a result of playing with Brett Favre at the top of his game as much as it was Rice’s ability to be a long-term superstar.

Santonio Holmes – New York Jets – It seems to be a trend that players who didn’t play a full season in 2010 are receiving huge contracts to start 2011. However, unlike Williams and Rice, Santonio Holmes missed four games in 2010 not because of injuries, but because of off the field issues. The New York Jets obviously aren’t concerned about the past as they inked Holmes to a five-year, $50 million contract even though according to the NFL’s conduct policy he is one-strike away from missing an entire season. In just 12 games last season he caught 52 passes for 746 yards and six touchdowns and in 16 games in 2009 had 79 catches for 1,248 yards and 5 touchdowns while with Pittsburgh. Read the rest of this entry →

What the Albert Haynesworth Deal Means to New England 7

Posted on July 28, 2011 by Marisa Ingemi

If any team can help Albert Haynesworth return to greatness on the football field it would seem to be the New England Patriots.

There is risk in any trade. And this trade is certainly full of many risks. Will he be in shape? Will he care to play? Would he even be an impact?

Albert Haynesworth was a force with the Tennessee Titans. This all changed when the Washington Redskins made him a $100 million dollar man. He did not get along with Daniel Snyder or Mike Shanahan. He was never going to work out in DC. For the New England Patriots, this deal makes sense.

With Ty Warren returning and Vince Wilfork, the Patriots have two solid defensive linemen. At the same time, it was Mike Wright who led the team in sacks. Yeah, that can’t be happening. Other than the unproven Jermaine Cunningham, New England did not have any pass rushers. Brandon Spikes and Jerod Mayo will be used more for stuffing the run. Adding Haynesworth can really help the defense.

At the same time, there are tons of risks. He has not had motivation and the Redskins are not a winning organization. If he plays and plays hard, Haynesworth can make the Patriots defensive line the best in the league. If not, they can cut him and just the $5 million they owe him. It is low risk and high reward, and if he works out he can give the Patriots a dangerous defense to go along with their dynamic offense.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

      Read more »

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