My Hardy analysis:
For any team, it's almost impossible to have 2 DEs signed to what are essentially max contracts. Everyone wants to keep Hardy but does it make sense in when we are already cap challenged and Cam is coming up next year. Does it make sense to tag him for one year and try to make a run. Does it make sense to let him go without current compensation and only the possibility of a future compensetory pick. This is where Gman makes his money and sets to foundation for the future of the franchise.
The puzzle is being put together:
1. A number of contracts have been restructured sooner than necessary to create additional cap room.
2. Cornerstones of the team are retiring/being marginalized. This sets the stage for Cam/Luke to assend to the main leadership.
3. Hardy has implied that he wants more than CJ. This won't happen here, but he still holds the key to the state of the franchise going forward. We CANNOT franchise him and keep him for one year. We still have some of the left over cap remanants of the hell we went thru with Peppers. However, we have to take the risk of tagging him for the ultimate benefit it could provide.
The franchise tag process:
1. We give Hardy non-exclusive tag. At this time we have to reserve the tag amount against cap.
2. Hardy signs tag, which he says he will do. The tag becomes fully guaranteed and his agent is allowed to immediately begin negotiations with other teams.
3. When he finds a contract which is acceptable, we have the option of matching it exactly ( no poison pills are allowed) , getting 2 first round picks if we don't want to lose him, or taking the best we can negotiate. If a trade is made, he goes completely off our books and we recover the tag amount for salarary cap purposes.
4. If he can't find an acceptable contract he can play under the tag and be a FA again next year. This is a distinct possibility with 2 other young DEs (Johnson/Bennet) as well as, good older ones in Tuck/Allen. However, if he realizes that the market is not what he thought and he wants to reduce the injury risk situation, we have a second bite at a new contract.
My Perfect Storm: Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonvile
1. They have $50 in cap space
2. They run a 4-3 and need a DE (2 if they release Babin)
3. With a new owner/coach they are looking to restart the franchise and put people in the empty seats.
4. They will take a QB with their first pick and get their get their young, proven DE with their second (no. 39).
5. Would the 39 pick be acceptable compensation for Gman, I don't think so. But instead of additional picks,he proposes taking Blackmon. If Jville is doing housecleaning (including possibly MJD) they may be willing to wipe their handes of him. He is still suspended and his career is hanging by a thread, but a change of senery may be what he needs and we get a former top ten receiver on the cheap.
Somebody slap me and wake me up. Now with Blackmon and the extra 39 pick, the draft becomes more exciting. With this exta currency we can afford to move around truely get the BPA. Additionally, we now have the cap space to sign a Tuck/Allen to a 2/3 year contact for half of Hardy and sign Gano, Mitchell and maybe Captain to multi-year contracts.
It wouldn't surprise me to pick up a QB in the 7th/UDFA to run the scout team and possibly develop as a backup. Boyd's stock seems to be falling and could fit in as a practice squad QB until he's ready to take over for DA.
Cam's biggest improvement , by far, has been on the mental side. Dorsey, Shula and especially D Anderson sheparded Cam ( with a ton on hard work) fron an athelete playing QB to a QB who is highly atheltic. Last year he was lucky to get to his second read before getting antsy in the pocket. Yesterday, he stood tall, recognized what defense he was seeing and made the right throws. You could have been looking at Brady/Manning on the final TD drive. On the TD itself, his on field comments after the game was amazing. "I saw the blitz coming, recognized it was cover zero and went to my hot read." That would have NEVER been his response last year even if he made the same throw.
I'm looking for a defining, statement game. Great players play their best in big games. Cam has 2 national championships and you don't win those without playing making plays at the right time. This is Cam's 47 start and Luke's 31. They are prepared and ready to breakout from potential to performance. This game is likely to come dowm to TO's on a wet and slippery field. I've got a good feeling the Panthers are going to grab NO's by the throat and kick their ass.
Without Brees Aint fans would still be wearing bags over their heads. He's now on the downward side of his career and I'd like to see us accelerate that decline over the next two games with them. Brees showed more "happy feet" when pressured in the pocket than I've seen before. Like Jake, that can lead to misthrows and interceptions. If our front four can get the same pressure that Seattle did, I like our chances
Per RR weekly Sirius interview....Kahil was one of the others to speak at halftime and said each player should only focus on doing their job on every play. Keep blocking on every play even when it breaks down because Cam can make a game changing play. RR said he summed up everything by saying "If you think you're a better team.....go out and prove it"
RR on weekly Sirius interview....the most important player in the game....ready ......drum roll.......Brad Nortman. He flipped the field 3 times with 2 50+ and 1 60+ net yard punts and another 1 inside the 10. In a defensive game, field position is is one of the most critical factors.
I understannd that Shula wants input from players and coaches and is very open to help. Honestly the mark of a good leader is someone who values other folks opinion. Unlike Chud who did things his way regardless of the results. This is another reason I like Shula and think he was a good hire. He doesn't care who helps as long as the result is successful.
Per RR weekly Sirius interview several weeks ago.... Cam and DA are attached at the hip. They arrive together every day, get taped together, practice together and meet with Shula/Dorsey after practice to go over that weeks game plan. Shula asks what plays he likes/dislikes and which he thinks will work . This gives everyone some ownership in the game plan, something that Chud never did. Game day playcalling was not mentioned, but everything up to that is now consensus.
RR on his weekly Sirius interview cited the chaos on the sideline following the Ginn TD. He was trying to stay stonefaced in the moment when Tolbert came up to him, put his hand on his chest and said " just checking for a pulse". Both had a good laugh.
It's only natural to feel disappointed when you've gone thru the hard times and are not there when things turn around. The fact is that Gman did him a favor by trading him to the Gmen where he could play his natural position. This will make him millions in his next contract, playing well in NY rather than sitting in NC. (JR may even feel that he deserves a ring since he was on the team earlier in the year ).
I guess this dates me, but I played HS football against his brother "Sam Bam" Cunningham. This guy was H Walker/ B Jackson back in the day. He won the Calif. 220 and shot put his senior year in 1968. He went to USC as a fullback, when they were still running backs like Jim Taylor. He was also credited with helping Bear Bryant break the color barrier on the Alabama football team when USC went to Tusgaloosa and blew out the Tide. The next year they recruited their first black player.