By Tim Peterson
One thing we learned last week, as if we didn’t already know, was that football is king. The Madness is in full swing in college basketball, the NBA is a few weeks away from the playoffs and in the MLB spring training is underway. But all anybody cared about was Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow and the New Orleans Saints bounty program.
_Yes football is king all right and it’s not even close. The NFL is the undisputed champion of the sports world. We’re used to it. It’s the same way on the high school level as well, which is why we’ll be bringing you the “NFL Now” column on a regular basis.
The Saints, who lose Coach Sean Payton for one year after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell dropped the hammer, are looking in house for a replacement. Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer are the leading candidates. Regardless of what happens to the Saints this year, with the success that he has had, Payton will be back on the sideline in 2013.
Tennessee might have been a better fit for Manning but the Broncos had John Elway and the Titans didn’t. He was the deciding factor.
The Jets wasted no time in unloading a quarterback. They traded Drew Stanton to Indianapolis for an undisclosed draft pick. Stanton signed a one-year $1.25 million last week to back up Mark Sanchez but became expendable when the Jets brought in Tebow.
So much for the Jeff Saturday joining Manning in Denver stories. The long time Colt center signed a two-year deal with Green Bay on Friday.
Chicago running back Marion Barber announced his plans to retire after the Bears signed running back Michael Bush to a four-year deal.
Lost in the wake of the Manning-Tebow- Saints headlines is that Baylor’s Robert Griffin III and Stanford’s Andrew Luck had their individual pro days this week. According to reports, both looked ridiculously good. Luck and Griffin will be the first quarterbacks taken in the number 1 and 2 spots since 1999.
The Eagles locked up receiver DeSean Jackson to a long term deal and traded with Houston for Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans. The Eagles reportedly had some interest
in Manning, but Manning didn’t like the idea of playing against his brother Eli at least twice a season.
The Broncos added some targets for Manning. In the last two days they have signed former Colt tight end Jacob Tamme to a three-year $9 million deal and tight end Joel Dreesen, former Texan, to a three-year $8.5 million deal. In 2010 Tamme had a career high 631 yards and 67 catches.
Hines Ward, who leads the Steelers in all receiving categories, including yards and touchdowns, retired last week as a “Steeler for life.”
If Sanchez thought he felt pressure before, can you imagine what he’ll be feeling after a couple of bad games with Tebow waiting in the wings?
Brandon Jacobs, who was released by the New York Giants, is considering all options but could wind up in Oakland who is looking for a replacement for Bush.
The NFL schedule is usually released in mid April. As Super Bowl champs, the Giants will play host to the kickoff opener. There’s a good chance Denver will play host to the first Sunday night game, with Manning making his Bronco debut.
Matt Flynn and Seattle should be a good fit. Flynn will be dropped into a west coast offense, similar to what he ran with Green Bay and he’ll have a legitimate number one receiver in Sydney Rice. The Seahawks have also been working hard to improve their offensive line.
NFL Stadium update: John Semcken of Majestic Realty, who is instrumental and the spokes person for the City of Industry project told our Duane Barker last week:
“Things are going great! I truly believe that there will be a football team here soon. I don’t know which stadium they will play in on a temporary basis, but they will be playing in Industry when the stadium opens. None of this is confirmed but that is the plan we are working on. The site in Industry is better for everyone, the league, the team, the communities of the 4 county area and most importantly the FANS! It is ok that others try to compete for the stadium and if they have a better opportunity than we do that is where the stadium should go. But they don’t and soon NFL Football will return to Los Angeles.”
Tim can be reached at email@example.com