Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2012 Potential Top NFL Free Agents

The 2012 NFL free agency period gets underway on March 13 and right now there are quite a few big-named players that would be eligible to shop their talents around the league if they do not come to terms with their current team before then.

Players such as Drew Brees in New Orleans and Ray Rice in Baltimore will most likely be hit with their team's Franchise Tag, which keeps them protected for one year, while they continue to work on a longterm deal, but there are still a few other big names on the list that will most likely be cut loose come mid-March.

The following is a link to a look at some of the potential top free agents for 2012 as originally posted on Bang the Book.

2012 Potential Top NFL Free Agents

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Odds To Win Super Bowl XLVII

The Giants had barely finished celebrating their thrilling victory in this year's Super Bowl before many of the sportsbooks released their odds to win next year's game. These odds are based more on public perception than anything else as it is next to impossible to get a perfectly clear picture on where any of the 32 teams in the league will be when training camps start opening at the end of July.

The one thing we know for sure is that with a 10-year CBA (collective bargaining agreement) in place, we will have a normal free agency period this offseason that gets underway on March 13. We will also have a normal college draft in the sense that the newly drafted rookies will have a chance to get properly acclimated with their teams well before the start of the regular season.

It will be business as usual this offseason so all 32 teams will be on equal footing when it comes to being prepared for opening day in early September. That being said, the inequities between the have-and -have not’s in the league still exist, so it is easy to see why teams such as Green Bay and New England are once again at the top of the list in terms of the odds to win Super Bowl XLVII.

When it comes to the Eagles, they are considered in that second-tier of teams after the Packers, Patriots, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers. This is a much better position than last year’s ‘dream team’ fiasco that vaulted the Birds to the top of many of the books’ future odds list. The expectation level was set too high, too soon for a bunch of high-priced free agents that had far too little time to come together as a team before the games started to count for real.

With an entire offseason to get his team ready to go, Andy Reid has to be licking his chops more than a trip to Pat’s Steaks with the amount of talent he now has on this squad. The Eagles have no real free agent issues and can easily slap the Franchise Tag on DeSean Jackson if they actually want the talented, but troublesome wide receiver back for next season. They can take their time in free agency to fill a couple of glaring holes on both sides of the ball and are in excellent position to pick-up a couple of immediate impact players in the draft as a result of their 8-8 finish.

While I generally believe that every season will be the one that the Birds finally add a Vince Lombardi Trophy to their resume, if this offseason goes as expected, they will put themselves in the best position to actually accomplish this feat since T.O. came to town in 2004.

The following is a link to my early look at the odds to win Super Bowl XLVII as originally posted on Bang the Book.

Odds to Win Super Bowl XLVII

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Eagles 2012 Free Agent Update

There are a number of high profile NFL players who will become unrestricted free agents on March 13 if they do not sign a new contract with their current team by that date. When it comes to the Eagles, the biggest name on that list would be wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

It remains to be seen if Andy Reid values his play on the field more than his off-field antics and decides to bring him back for next season, but there are quite a few other names on that list that will need to be dealt with as well. Below is the current list of Eagle players who will become free agents if they do not sign a new deal in the next 30 days or so.

DE Victor Abiamiri
RB Ronnie Brown
DT Antonio Dixon
OT King Dunlap
WR DeSean Jackson
DT Derek Landri
DE Trevor Laws
OG Evan Mathis
DE Juqua Parker
FB Owen Schmitt
WR Steve Smith
QB Vince Young

I would have to imagine that the Birds are willing to part ways with Ronnie Brown and Vince Young, as neither player came anywhere close to living up to their expectations when they first joined the team. Brown ran the ball 42 times for 136 yards and had as many fumbles as touchdowns; one. Young filled-in for an injured Michael Vick and made three starts. His main claim to fame was helping to engineer a 17-10 win over the Giants, but his overall numbers were less than impressive to say the least. He completed just 57.9 percent of his throws for 866 yards and four touchdowns, while chucking nine interceptions along the way. His tenure with the Eagles will probably be remembered most for tagging the Birds with the 'dream team' moniker that dogged them the entire season.

Another high-profile player they could probably do without is Steve Smith, but that might depend on what happens with Jackson. The much-hyped wide receiver who the Eagles 'stole' from New York caught a total of 11 balls for 124 yards and one touchdown. In Smith's defense he was still recovering from an injury at the beginning of the season and could come back strong with another full offseason of rehab.

The one player on this list that will hopefully be back is fullback Owen Schmitt. His rushing stats are basically non-existent with four carries for six yards, but he was instrumental in helping LeSean McCoy rush for a very impressive 1309 yards and NFL-high 17 touchdowns.

The rest of the names on the list all made some valuable contributions over the course of the season, but none are a player that the Eagles could not live without.

The big question come March 13 is which players does Andy Reid go after (if any at all) to fill in the current gaps on this team. Last year's experiment of loading up the payroll with a number of expensive free agents did not work out so well, but I will reserve judgment until after next season to determine whether or not it was a colossal failure or an ingenius move that finally brings a Super Bowl title to the City of Philadelphia.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI Preview and Prediction

All the hype for Sunday's Super Bowl XLVI showdown between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots is reaching a fever pitch with the game just a day a way. The Patriots are favored by 2.5 to 3-points and the total line is set at 54.5 to 54 points depending upon which sportsbook you reference.

The following is a link to my preview and prediction for Sunday's game as originally posted on

Super Bowl XLVI Preview and Prediction

Friday, February 3, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI Hot and Not List – The New York Giants

Last week we took an in-depth look at the strengths and weaknesses of the New England Patriots heading into this Sunday's Super Bowl XLVI. This week it is the New York Giants turn to go under the microscope to examine what is hot and not about the other half of this year's matchup.

The Giants are a 2.5 to 3-point underdog according to the current line on this game, however the general tone of most of the experts is that they should actually be the favorite to win. The spread is dictated by the amount of money wagered on each side, so the betting public is still leaning towards the Patriots.

The biggest reason for the heavy support behind New York is its current form heading into this game. Taking a page out of Green Bay's run to a NFL title last season, more emphasis is being placed on momentum than on the actual matchup between the two teams. Be careful not to fall into this trap as a two-week layoff puts both teams on equal footing. Stengths and weaknesses of each opponent still play a vital role in properly handicapping this game.

The following is a link to a look at New York's 'Hot and Not' list as originally posted on Ask the Bookie

Super Bowl XLVI Hot and Not List – The New York Giants