We knew it was going to happen. Now Jimmy Graham is confirming that he will get the franchise tag. However, we don’t know what position he will be tagged as. He will make significantly less if he is tagged as a wide receiver, but his party is arguing that because he lines up in the slot so often that he can and should be viewed as a wide receiver (and thus receiving a bigger price tag).
If Graham is tagged as a wide receiver, it will not only affect the Saints financially (and their approach to how they line him up in 2014), but it will also affect the fantasy world.
Will they list him as a wide receiver only? Or maybe a tight end only? Or will he be eligible for both?
Here are my predictions for the second round of the playoffs.
Can the Saints figure out the Seahawks?
NEW ORLEANS (6) VS SEATTLE (1)
The Saints got embarrassed earlier this year when they went to Seattle to take on the Seahawks? Are the Saints equipped to take down Seattle this time around?
One thing that makes this matchup difficult for the Saints is the defense of the Seahawks. The secondary is still very strong and the passing attack from Drew Brees needs to be very precice to give the Saints any kind of chance.
One thing that they must do is execute the screen game to perfection. However, this game also may come to the hands of the Seahawks’ offense. Their rushing attack remains very strong and could be the difference in setting the tone early. The Saints have a strong defense but can it handle the dynamic play of Russell Wilson?
It’s time for the playoffs once again! Here are my quick predictions on today’s games.
A rematch of two former No. 1 picks
KANSAS CITY (5) VS INDIANAPOLIS (4)
This is going to be a fun matchup to watch because both teams are coming back after miserable seasons. Two years ago, the Colts suffered through a horrific season and came back as a playoff team under the guidance of a new quarterback. Last year, the Chiefs retooled after a disastrous season, got their new quarterback and a new coach to lead the way.
I am looking forward to see how Jamaal Charles will be used in this game. He is coming off a strong finish this year and could be the x-factor in this game. But on the Colts’ side on offense, I am really impressed at how their running game is starting to show some signs of life. I don’t expect them to have to run really well, but maybe just well enough to keep a strong balance.
This game might come down to field position. Both quarterbacks are smart generals and won’t try to take big risks to jeopardize the team. And I believe that might be the difference, allowing the defenses to set the tone for the game.
Aldon Smith may not have recorded a sack, but his interception and the defense held their own against the Patriots.
As I watched last night’s epic battle between the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots, I couldn’t help but realize that I was witnessing a fun football game. Not often do we get a chance to witness two very talented teams in a meaningful game like the one we had Sunday. Unfortunately, the top-billed matchups from earlier in the day did not meet the hype. This game though met all of the hype and a lot more.
After watching the game, I kept thinking about how much this game somehow seemed so familiar. In fact, it seemed like I had just watched the 49ers and Saints in the playoffs 11 months ago. I know the situation was different and the results were different, but it didn’t seem all that different to me.
Then again, maybe it’s the kind of feeling that I get when I see the 49ers play a game like this.
A few things have occurred over the past few days and I wanted to just say my thoughts on them.
This story broke my heart and it just brought up memories of Junior Seau’s death. We don’t know what caused it and if it had anything to do with brain damage. But it reminded me a lot of Kenny McKinley and how he was suffering through a hopeless feeling and killed himself after trying to rehab back onto the Broncos.
I want to put this out there that people who have never been on the verge of suicide should never judge people who do commit suicide. You’ll never understand what it takes to push someone over the ledge. And I don’t want to judge Murdock for his actions. There could have been a lot of factors to it.
But this death adds more to the black cloud over the NFL and its current state of players killing themselves. I hope this isn’t part of the concussion issue that’s going on. But at the same time, something wrong is happening and we need to stop it.
Last night, the San Francisco 49ers (and the New Orleans Saints) won the award for Best Game of the Year at the ESPYs. I covered that game and saw it live. It was one of the greatest games I have ever seen.
But it wasn’t the best game of the year.
As Mike Klis of the Denver Post points out, Game 6 of the World Series was a whole lot better — and I didn’t even watch the game (I was at a concert).
The fact that the Cardinals scored in the bottom of the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th to stay alive in that game was amazing. The Rangers had the win, but the Cardinals never gave up. That might have been the most exciting game in baseball history.
But then again, baseball is my favorite sport so there is some bias there.
Compared to the 49ers game, the Cardinals had drama and high stakes that was at a whole different level. But as Klis points out, football is king in this country.
The above is the audio [NSFW]. Here is my story on it.
I wouldn’t say I am too surprised at any of this. In fact, it’s actually very commonplace. Coaches are known to give speeches prior to big games and a good portion of them go into detail on how they want to hurt the opposition.
That’s the nature of football. The goal is to beat the other team and if there’s an opportunity to hurt them within the rules, it’s praised. That’s what Williams is trying to do. I don’t know if he was telling the team to only hurt people, but he wanted them to hurt and win.
The hardest thing to swallow with this piece of news is that Williams’ history. He had run the bounty program for the past three years and was already told to stop it. Yet from this new information, he continued it.
Sean Payton and Roger Goodell in happier times.
I was talking with my friend the other day about the commissioners of the four major sports in America. I told him that all four commissioners aren’t liked by the fan bases they work for. But out of all of them, there was one in my opinion that has at least gained the respect by the fans: the NFL’s Roger Goodell.
In the NHL, Gary Bettman has not been a fan favorite. He has struggled to help maintain interest in the league and throughout the years, a few franchises’ futures have been in jeopardy under his watch.
In the NBA, David Stern is viewed as the bad guy despite his efforts to make basketball fun. But instead, he took away all the fun and this past offseason’s lockout might have been the last straw.
Not the bounty we're talking about.
I could go into a lot of detail on how I feel about this bounty thing but I think my thoughts are really simple. I am disgusted by this but at the same time, I am not surprised at all at any of the findings.
There are several illegal things that are being done with a bounty. It’s a lot of contract issues that are violated and most importantly, it’s going against the league’s attempt to promote player safety. Paying players under the table to hurt others intentionally just sounds wrong.
But I don’t think the Saints are the only team that does this — they are the only ones that got caught. When on the field, the goal for the defense to is to tackle and hurt the opposition.If their play ends up hurting a player, then that’s what happens. That’s normal in football.