Maybe it's because I was compared to an alleged rapist, or perhaps my recent run of awesome movies (Gone Baby Gone being the latest and no, this doesn't relate at all) has inspired me, or maybe I just miss writing on here, but I have the urge to do so. And finally, after a conversation with one of my good buddies, Aaron (I Love You, Man?), I have an interesting and fun topic to play around with, that being the contract drama many teams find themselves caught up in.
I'll preface by saying there won't be much Texans-related analysis involved since the likelihood of any of these players becoming a part of or affecting the team's season is less than 2%. However, these should serve as playful "what if" trade scenarios in your mind and at the very least bring you up to the speed with the latest disgruntled player news in the NFL (really, does that list ever end?). Take the jump. Do it.
Here are the more noteworthy players who are
selfish bastards whose salaries most others would kill to have looking for new deals, sorted by anger levels.
Chris Johnson, 2010 salary: $550,000, Anger level: Low
What It Means For Us (WIMFU [catchy, right?]): Probably nothing at all. Though Johnson will sit out mini-camps, no one within the organization seems concerned at all. Most seem to think he'll even return by training camp. From his most recent statement, it does seem that way: "My mind has been on one goal, to continue to be the best running back in the league. I’ve had a great offseason." Though terribly underpaid (relatively speaking, of course), the chances of Mr. 2000 being available for the Texans won't present itself.. unless of course, you put stock into this post by Chris. Never. Say. Never.
June 15th UPDATE: Johnson compared himself to Revis on Twitter and sounds more upset than ever. It looks like he's very angry after contract negotiations took place yesterday.
Miles Austin, 2010 salary: $3.168 million, Anger level: Low
WIMFU: Austin hasn't missed practices, signed his tender fairly early and has received nothing but support from Jerry Jones. He's booked to get a deal before the season and the Cowboys would never let him go. 'Dre and Austin? Nice thought.
Ray Edwards, 2010 salary: $2.521 million, Anger level: Low
WIMFU: I'm inclined to put Edwards on this mostly because I want to pose this question to BRB readers: How much of what Edwards does can actually be attributed to Edwards? Not only is he playing next to the Williams Wall, the best defensive tackle tandem in the game, but he's also lining up opposite Jared Allen, one of the league's premier
douchebags pass rushers. Is this guy even worth a long term deal? Could he duplicate his success (8.5 sacks last season) if he played on the Texans? Probably not, which is why he won't get a long term offer from anyone before the season. His situation means absolutely nothing to us.
Elvis Dumervil, 2010 salary: $3.168 million, Anger level: Low
WIMFU: Dumervil has done everything right since leading the league in sacks a year ago with 17. He's even showed up to mini-camps this week while expecting a new deal. Basically, he's the polar opposite of star babies Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall, yet the Broncos seemed to treat him in the same light when they threatened to reduce his tender early last week. The Broncos have no reason not to lock up Dumervil long term right away. They should be setting an example to their players with him: Don't act like an ass, do your job and you'll be rewarded. The Broncos would never trade him and he's not the type to ask for an out. Sad face. He's probably not a great fit anyway, considering he mostly played OLB in a 3-4 scheme, but the team could get creative to use him. We all know, however, he would never, ever, replace Pro Bowl linebacker Zac Diles.
Jared Gaither, 2010 salary: $2.396 million, Anger level: Mild
WIMFU: The day after Gaither signed his first round tender, he sat out practices. He was moved to RT this off-season to make way for Michael Oher (The Blind Side was meh). Gaither was on the trading block a long time before signing his tender, so there is some (however slight) potential here. Would the Texans be willing to send draft picks his way? Gaither is just 24 years old and one of the best pass-blocking tackles in the league. Duane Brown would immediately be moved inside and suddenly we're a lot more confident about Schauby being able to stay upright. Would you surrender a first rounder for Gaither?
Carlos Rogers, 2010 salary offer: $1.542 million, Anger level: High
WIMFU: Out of all the players on the list, Rogers is the one I could most see in a Texans uniform (chances are still less than 5%) in 2010. Rogers was given an original pick tender by the Redskins after the season (the lowest tender offer) after getting benched in 2009. He was considered one of the brightest talents at his position in '08, however, and being benched by the Redskins doesn't mean much, considering Jim Zorn proved next to nothing as a talent evaluator. If the Redskins put him on the trading block, I'd be more than willing to give up a fourth round pick or lower for a former first rounder who has shown shut down ability, especially given our CB situation. Keep a close eye on this one.
Donald Penn, 2010 salary offer: $3.168 million, Anger level: High
WIMFU: Penn really had no reason to decline the first and third round tender offer he received, but he did just that yesterday. The Bucs have threatened to reduce their offer, which they will probably go through with. I can't see them putting Penn on the trade block over this, nor can I see them paying the big bucks for a solid, but nowhere near special, player. Whether or not Penn stages a training camp holdout is irrelevant, because he will be with the Bucs come Week One. For the sake of the "what if" game, if he were to become available, he's not worth what he's presumably asking for and arguably, at 27 years old, isn't that much of an upgrade over the 24 year old Duane Brown, factoring in potential.
Pierre Thomas, 2010 salary: $1.684 million, Anger level: Pissed
WIMFU: I wish this meant something. Though he has been a bit injury prone and streaky at times, he's been great for stretches the past few years. He showed off his elusiveness in the Super Bowl and has proved to be 20,348 times the RB that Reggie Bush was supposed to be. After last season, the Saints only offered a second round tender for Thomas, meaning they think pretty lowly of him. Thomas signed his tender, but he isn't happy at all. He could definitely hold out into training camp and he's one of the few players on this list that has reason to do so. Thomas, Slaton, Tate. That sounds like a hell of a RB competition to me. If only.
Darrelle Revis, 2010 salary: $550, 000, Anger level: Very high
WIMFU: Most recently, Revis sat out specific practices at Jets mini-camp. His excuse--a light head. Not only does Revis want a new contract greater than the largest ever for a cornerback (Nnamdi Asomugha re-upped with the Raiders for a whopping $45 million last year), he wants it by training camp or he won't show. We do play the Jets this year, but unless Revis plans on staging a holdout greater than eleven weeks into the season, the intriguing Hard Knocks storyline probably doesn't mean much for us. Can you imagine if Dunta was actually as good as Revis? How much would he have asked for then?
Vincent Jackson, 2010 salary offer: $3.168 million, Anger level: BFD drunken rage
WIMFU: I'm not sure what V-Jax is thinking. He's likely facing a four game suspension to start the season stemming from a suspended license incident in January. Instead of playing out this season with reasonable pay and receive a contract next year, V-Jax and his teammate Marcus McNeil are preparing to sit out the first ten games of the season. Chargers GM A.J. Smith is one of the most stubborn GMs in the league and will not give in to either player's demands. The Chargers will likely chose to fine the players rather than entertain offers for them, but Dre + V-Jax = death for opposing defenses. Smith will reduce both Jackson's and McNeil's salary today.
Marcus McNeil, 2010 salary offer: $3.168 million, Anger level: BFD drunken rage
WIMFU: Almost the exact same situation as Jackson. McNeil is one of the best LTs in the league, but he won't get a contract from Smith like this. Both of these dramas will drag on far into the season. In the money-free fantasy world we sometimes choose to live in, McNeil would be sweet. Similar to the Chargers smith, however, McNeil would never get a contract from the Texans' Smith without showing up to practice.
Logan Mankins, 2010 salary offer: $1.54 million, Anger level: BFD drunken rage
WIMFU: Mankins has officially reached all out b**ch mode and the Pats are playing serious hardball. As soon as allowed, the team reduced its tender offer from what was originally $3.268 million to the number you see above. Harsh. According to the Boston Globe, however, the team did want to make him one of the top five richest at his position. Very Duntaesque move by Mankins, which isn't good. Mankins had this to say about rejoining the Pats: "I don't need to be here anymore." This potentially is one of the few situations that actually has some relevance to the Texans (but not really). With Chester Pitts presumably not returning to the team, Kasey Studdard is still slated as the Texans' starting left guard heading into training camp. Mankins is an infinitely superior option should he become available. The team won't pony up the money for him, but it's an intriguing thought.
So, there you have it. Hope you're all caught up with the contract grumblings in the NFL. Which player do you see as the best fit/most likely to join the Texans' playoff campaign in 2010?