Friday, February 27, 2009

Freddie T and Manny

Three very quick thoughts for Friday morning....

1) I love the Fred Taylor imminent signing by the Pats. Love it! And this is coming from a guy who has said about 185 times over the past few months that their sole focuses in free agency and the draft should be defense, defense, defense. So why the love for Taylor?

Assuming the money is right (ie relatively low cost and a deal where they can basically go year-to-year with him) you get a former Pro Bowl caliber player with something left in the tank to work into the RB platoon. Yes he is coming off of a career low in yards-per-carry (3.9) but last year the entire Jags running game was a mess. The two years prior to that he averaged 5.0 and 5.4 YPC respectively. My guess is that next year he falls somewhere in the 4.5 YPC range which I will take anytime.

So, where does he fit in in the Maroney/Faulk/Morris/Jordan group? I am not sure. To me it's a no-brainer that they keep Faulk around and I'd imagine Maroney is safe too. That seems kind of odd given his somewhat checkered injury/production past, but he was a first round pick and he has shown flashes so it probably behooves the team to give him one more shot at proving his NFL worth. That leaves Morris, Jordan, or maybe both as the likely victims here. If I had to guess, I'd honestly say it would be Sammy Morris because as much as I like what he has done in his tenure here (when he's been healthy), he too has had trouble staying on the field and his game is more of a match towards Taylor's. This is to say that both Taylor and Morris are more traditional running backs while Lamont Jordan is more of the bruiser who is adept in the passing game. Because of that, I say Morris is the one to go even if other logic and maybe even popular opinion will reside in begrudgingly cutting Jordan or maybe even casting off Maroney.

2) Your first reaction to the news that Manny just nixed the Dodgers 2 year/$45M offer with the second year, a player option at $20M is that Manny is an idiot because nobody else is bidding on him. But then you actually look at HOW the Dodgers were going to pay him (only $10M of that actually coming next year, the rest deferred) and I guess it makes a bit more sense. And then your brain really starts churning and you begin to buy in more and more to those outside thoughts that everybody has, which say the Yankees are going to swoop in and sign him to a massive one or two year deal and that is why he said no.

Right now, who knows the real reason he passed, but if sometime on Saturday you see an ESPNEWS flash claiming that Manny just inked a 1 year, $30M offer with the Yankees, you would not be that shocked would you?

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Manny played 130 games in 2006 and 133 games in 2007, which were the last two years he was NOT playing for a contract. This is important to me simply because if you sign a soon to be 37 year old Manny to any type of contract this year, chances are you are getting more of the 130 or so game a year player as opposed to the 153 game a year player he was last year. This is not really a knock on Manny, people are going to be more injury prone as they age now that they can't just shoot themselves up with HGH so I offer this as something substantial that must be thought on when considering tossing heaps of cash at Mr. Manny.

ps.....Love the new logo

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