Watching reruns of Punky Brewster while plucking my nosehairs with a pair of salad tongs would be more enjoyable than listening to sports radio lately.
That’s because I’m already tired of Favrewatch 2010. I’m tired of hearing who the Vikings might trade for if Favre does not come back.
If he’s wearing purple boxers, does that mean he’s considering a comeback? If he’s caught eating minestrone, is that some apocalyptic sign that he’ll return to Minnesota?
When did reporting rumors and guesstimates take place of reporting actual news? There’s this thing called a Super Bowl coming up. Why not talk about that?
Listening to the endless drone of what-ifs is enough to drive even the most disciplined chinstrap ninja insane. So, to help navigate through the minefield of NFL offseason, here is how some of the biggest storylines will play out between now and Week 1. Without the drama.
Brett Favre. The ultimate sports radio fodder-feeder, Favre listened to me last year and joined the Vikings in what turned out to be his most productive season ever. While some may argue, Favre cemented his position as best QB ever, despite falling a coin toss short of a Super Bowl appearance. In the loss to New Orleans, Favre was beaten, battered and bruised and it is no surprise that he would question whether a return in 2010 is a wise decision. Many football gurus, such as Len Pascarelli, have stated on sports radio that they feel Favre will hang up his cleats. I doubt it. Favre is arguably the most competitive QB to ever strap on a helmet. Do you think he can walk away from the game after coming so excrutiatingly close to a Super Bowl? I don’t. The offseason Favre saga may be long and twisted, but I am here to tell you that once the dust has settled, No. 4 will be in Minnesota for another Purple Reign in 2010.
Kurt Warner. It was a difficult season for Warner, who struggled during stretches in 2009. He has told certain members of the media that the game is no longer fun for him. He has little left to prove. Sources at rotoworld.com predict that Warner will officially retire at a press conference Friday. I agree. The Cardinals will be a much different team in 2010, as Ken Whisenhunt starts building around a Beanie Wells ground game to replace the void of a Kurt Warner-less passing attack.
Anquan Boldin. Rumors have announced that Boldin was leaving Arizona many times in the past, but Anquan continues to suit up in red. Arizona brass have grown tired of Boldin’s rollercoaster presence on the team, including his growing trend of spending time on the injured list more than on the field. The Cardinals don’t need Boldin with the emergence of Steve Breaston and Early Doucet, and the squad is likely to become more run-oriented moving forward. The Cardinals are willing to lower their trade expectations. There are plenty of teams that could use a big-time receiving threat, including the Ravens, Dolphins, Jets, Bears and Buccaneers. I personally believe that the Jets and Bears will try to make do with their current receivers. Baltimore will land Boldin for a second-round pick.
Brandon Marshall. Is there any doubt that Marshall won’t return to the Broncos considering how the 2009 season ended in Denver? The bigger question here is where Marshall will wind up. Bill Parcells seems drawn to racy situations and Marshall could be a big boost for a young but very talented offense. Here’s projecting Marshall in Miami this year.
Michael Vick. Officially back in the NFL, and not happy with a bit role with the Eagles, Vick will be playing elsewhere this season. The Eagles have just announced that they will not be picking up Vick’s option in 2010. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Rams are a team in need of a QB upgrade with Marc Bulger basically a nonfactor. The Rams have a ton of other needs, and securing Vick at a cheap rate (perhaps a mid- to late-round pick) would allow them to focus on other weaknesses during the draft. Vick has a relationship with Rams GM Billy Devaney from their days together in Atlanta. Michael will land in St. Louis this offseason.
Donovan McNabb. Another every-season drama fest fueled by Philly fans who have historically undervalued their potential Hall of Fame QB, McNabb has been rumored to be trade fodder to teams like Minnesota (if Favre retires, which he won’t). In a Philly-based survey, fans allegedly voted they’d rather have Kevin Kolb or Michael Vick as their 2010 starting QB. Nonsense. Sorry to burst the bubble, but McNabb will again be starting under center in Philadelphia this season.
LaDanian Tomlinson. Even before LT2 bad-mouthed Norv Turner and his role on the 2009 Chargers’ offense earlier this week, the writing was on the wall that Tomlinson had played his last season in San Diego. Many who cover the Chargers feel that Tomlinson won’t have much value on the trade market, but I can definitely see a team taking a chance on Tomlinson. Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has a history of getting involved in such futile causes, but he has a quickly declining older back already on the roster in Clinton Portis. There are plenty of teams that could use a boost at running back, but my gut says Tomlinson winds up in Houston with a committee-type role with Steve Slaton and Arian Foster. Another team that could take a leap of faith on him would be Detroit, which has plenty of its own RB questions at the moment. I’m still leaning towards the Texans, though.
Marion Barber. Definitely showing signs of physical breakdown this season, and after a major breakout by Felix Jones during the playoffs, there have been major rumors surrounding the Cowboys that Barber has been put on the trade block by Dallas. However, owner Jerry Jones has stated emphatically that money will not be an issue with Barber coming back in 2010, even though he is owed an additional $4 million bonus in 2010 on top of his $3.8 million salary. I personally expect Marion to be a Cowboy yet this season, albeit in a reduced role as the ‘Boys try to keep Barber fresh for the stretch run.
Jason Campbell. The current Redskins quarterback has been the bane of Daniel Snyder for some time now, and was close to being upstaged during the last rookie draft by Mark Sanchez if the Redskins could have worked out a trade to land them an opportunity to draft the highly touted Mark Sanchez. Of course, the Jets beat them to the punch. It is pretty obvious that Campbell will be run out of town this season by some rookie QB, and will be looking for work. Meanwhile, as I mentioned earlier, Kurt Warner will retire, leaving just Matt Leinart as the heir apparent in Arizona. However, Leinart has done nothing to help his team feel confident that he can lead a championship-caliber team. I see the Cardinals adding a veteran QB to “compete” with Leinart for the starting gig. Since I already pointed out that McNabb will stay in Philly, I would expect Jason Campbell to suit up for the Cardinals in 2010 … regardless of comments out of Washington that the Skins will keep Campbell on even though he isn’t a “long-term option.”
What do you think will happen with some of the big names in the NFL this offseason? Is there someone not already on this list that you’d like to discuss? Let us know in the comments below.