OZZIE SPELLS INSURANCE C-O-L-L-I-N-S

Lombardi's Way OZZIE SPELLS INSURANCE C-O-L-L-I-N-S

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One team’s loss is another’s gain?  Yesterday it was reported that Titans’ cornerback Michael Waddell suffered a knee injury while playing with his 2 year old son.  The injury will sideline Waddell for up to 6 months and it leaves the Titans with a hole in their secondary.  To sure up that hole, the Titans are considering veteran free agent corners Ty Law and Ahmed Plummer.  But here’s the rub…the Titans are reportedly only $112,000 under the cap.  This injury could force the Titans to release Steve McNair.  Might Ozzie then emerge victoriously in his poker stare down with Titans’ GM Floyd Reese?
 
Not so fast…Word out of Cleveland is that Trent Dilfer is requesting a trade to the 49ers – a homecoming of sorts for Dilfer whose hometown is Fresno, CA.  If Dilfer is traded would the Browns suddenly emerge as a suitor for Steve McNair and if so, how much will that drive up McNair’s asking price?  The Browns have roughly $4 million more in cap space than the Ravens.  A McNair signing by the Browns not only bolsters their quarterbacking situation, it also weakens that of a division opponent.
 
If things unfold this way, how does Ozzie justify not offering the requested fourth round pick instead of the fifth round pick to acquire McNair?
 
To give up a fourth for McNair seems like such an obvious choice.  In 2004 when the Ravens were desperate for help at wide receiver, they happily gave up a fourth round pick for Kevin Johnson.  And what did he do?  Well let’s see, KJ started 5 games and caught 35 passes, one for a touchdown.
 
If Kerry Collins weren’t still out there, would Ozzie have offered the fourth rounder?  What if Collins is off the board and the Ravens don’t act upon McNair?  What if Kyle Boller is the opening day starter and produces the same old results?  How many fans at M&T will be screaming for Ozzie’s head?
 
Look, Ozzie is a smart man with a keen eye for talent (provided it isn’t the guy standing behind center).  I’ve got to believe that the Ravens and Bus Cook have a gentleman’s agreement in place regarding McNair regardless of whether he’s traded or released.  That is the only thing that would explain or rationalize the waiting.  Otherwise, it makes absolutely no sense for the Ravens to not offer the fourth – none, caput, Ngata!
 
The business side of football and parting with sentimental heroes is something the Titans have faced before with Eddie George.  History has a way of repeating itself when the salary cap is mismanaged.  Just ask the 49ers.  Just ask Jeff Fisher.  "It’s not fun. It’s hard. It’s difficult, when you take into consideration what he’s done and what he means to this organization,” Fisher said. "Steve has been around long enough to understand you have to separate the business side from everything else.”  The Titans need to reduce or rid themselves of McNair’s $23.46 million cap figure in order to sign their draft picks and any free agents.
 
You’ve gotta love Rex Ryan!  In so many words, Rex told Ray Lewis to quit the bitching and moaning and just play football.  "As a coach, I could lie and tell you the standard thing about, ‘Oh, we’ll let that fly under the rug,’ but that’s not how we operate. It’s unfortunate to hear any negative comment associated with our defense. Hopefully, we’ll get Ray back with his teammates and we’ll put that rope the same direction to get after people. This is a team game. It’s about all 11 and not just one."
 
Who better to put Ray in his place than Rex who arguably is the most respected coach on the Ravens’ staff.  Perhaps this is the first indication that the days of preferential treatment are a thing of the past.
 
I feel good!  That’s the message from Ravens’ rookie RB P.J. Daniels after he received a call from Brian Billick.  "He said I had the potential to be the future running back in Baltimore, and this is a good situation for me because of things that are going on over there," Daniels said. "He said I fit in good with their offense. I was very excited to hear that.”  I wonder if Jamal Lewis and Mike Anderson got that very same call?
 
Those wedding bells are ringing at Redskins Park.  Prior to the NFL Draft, the newest Redskin and former Miami Hurricane linebacker Rocky McIntosh said, “I do.”  According to McIntosh, “I was having a lot of pressure from her.  A lot of pressure! But it was cool, though. I love her a lot."
 
Apparently other former ‘Canes love McIntosh a lot.  Sean Taylor, Santana Moss and Clinton Portis lobbied Joe Gibbs to get McIntosh and the Redskins skipper delivered.  To get McIntosh, the Redskins felt compelled to trade up and they found a willing partner in the New York Jets.  To get the Jets second round pick (No. 35 overall) the Redskins gave up the 53rd overall pick — plus a sixth rounder as well as the Redskins’ second-round selection in 2007.  Gibbs of course went on to boast about McIntosh’s speed and ability to cover linebackers.  He also talked about the importance of character and how that is the most important quality to look for in a drafted player.  Gee Joe, and you relied upon the innocent eyes of Sean Taylor to get a read on McIntosh’s character?  That’s like asking Charlie Sheen about the virtues of fidelity.
 
If you’re locked down, you better call Crown!  Maybe Nestor Aparicio should tell his buddy Marvin Lewis a little about one of WNST’s proud sponsors – his players just might need it.  Tom Archdeacon, of the Dayton Daily News, reports that rookie LB A.J. Nicholson said his three brushes with the law that past 14 months hurt him in the NFL Draft.  Nah, c’mon cut it out!  Really?
 
Nicholson admitted, "Everybody was concerned about my character issues."  To which Bengals’ linebacker coach Rickey Hunley said, "Young kids take risks and don’t think they’ll get caught, but they do. And I think maybe that’s why he’s so thankful (now) – because he really put himself in a bad situation when he was younger."
 
Wonder what they didn’t catch Nicholson doing?
 
Another Bengal who could potentially be caged is troubled wide receiver Chris Henry.  Last year Henry was arrested on two separate occasions – one for possession of drugs and another on handgun charges.  Henry is now pushing towards the lock down trifecta – this time for possible sex crimes.
 
Kenton County (Kentucky) chief prosecutor Ken Easterling told a local Cincinnati TV station that he, "Can’t really comment on where the investigation is going, I simply will indicate there is an investigation.  It’s very preliminary and certainly the Covington police are involved in the investigation.  As soon as they determine whether or not charges should be brought they will bring them.  The only thing that I’m really going to indicate is Chris Henry is being investigated for potential criminal activity that occurred here in Covington. The crime is sexual in nature."
 
How much longer before Marvin Lewis jettisons this punk?  Do they really need him now that they’ve acquired another capable No. 3 receiver in Antonio Chatman?
 
In other Bengals news, Chad Johnson is yapping again.  "We’re going to be good," Johnson said Wednesday, following a workout at Paul Brown Stadium. "Anyone else that feels we’re not going to dominate the AFC North this year, something’s wrong.
 
"Look at the numbers. Look at the players. Look at me. What else could I say?"
Chad, I’m looking at the players.  If Carson Palmer doesn’t heal like Superman, Anthony Wright is your starting QB on opening day in Kansas City.  Do you know the last time that Wright won a game on the road?  Can you say 0-1?  Then you return home to face the Browns, I’ll give you that one.  But then it’s on the road against the Steelers and then at home against the Patriots.
 
If 1-3 is dominant, I suppose you are correct their golden choppers.
 
The Jets lied!  The tried to be sly and put out there that they were interested in Jay Cutler when all along Matt Leinart was the Big Apple of their collective eye.  Word is the Jets were working the phones trying to lure the Cardinals into giving up the No. 10 pick in the draft so that they could take Leinart.  Leinart’s new significant other probably would have preferred the Jets as well – socialite Paris Hilton.  Hilton, famous for her well traveled home made videos finally gets her real Trojan Man!
 
Boy those Vikings don’t fool around anymore.  First they whack Culpepper shortly after Head Coach Brad Childress’ arrival.  Then they send Onterrio “The Whizzinator Man” Smith packing.  Now after turning in a fake resume, 3 months on the job and a lousy draft, the Nordic club on Wednesday fired personnel director Fran Foley.  Foley plans on taking legal action against the Vikings.
 
"Mr. Foley had a guaranteed contract and the Vikings breached that contract," said Foley’s lawyer Jeffrey Kessler. "They induced him to leave a job he was very happy at in San Diego by offering that guaranteed contract."
 
Responding to the anticipated court room battle, Vikings VP of Operations and legal counsel Kevin Warren said, "We’re not going to make this into a media circus.  We felt it was in the best interests of the organization and the future of this franchise to terminate the contract of Fran Foley."
 
According to several reports, Foley who signed a three-year contract with Minnesota just this past January, has admitted to several inaccuracies on the resume he provided the team, including his early work history and in exaggerating his playing career at Framingham State College.
 
"They waited until after the draft, so they could have the benefit of his services and expertise on the draft," Kessler said. "Then they lowered the boom."
Trading up to get Tarvaris Jackson in the second round?  I suppose someone has to be the fall guy, eh?
 
And finally, undrafted and still unsigned former Virginia Tech QB Marcus Vick will attend the Dolphins’ rookie mini-camp this weekend for an audition.  Just imagine Vick in Miami….
 
South Beach bringin’ the heat…ha, ha…can y’all feel that…can y’all feel that…
 
Nick Saban, why bother?

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is the founder EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com. His work has been featured on various sports websites and he hosts The Russell Street Report and Armchair Quarterback both seen and heard on Fanimal Radio. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi. More from Tony Lombardi
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