Monday, February 20, 2006

NFL Quick Updates

For those thirsting for some NFL news, a couple of stories have developed today that are of some interest.

Apparently Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has tested positive for a banned substance under the NFL substance-abuse policy today. The substance, reports The Miami Herald , is not marijuana, although the NFL has not publicly disclosed what exactly the "substance" in question is. This will be Williams' fourth positive test and could result in a one-year suspension. ESPN reports that Williams has already launched an appeal. As I heard it on ESPN radio tonight, Williams' mother has indicated that Ricky is currently residing in India studying yoga, and she speculates that the banned substance may well have been from one of the supplements he commonly uses under the guidance of his mentors. A one-year suspension could well result in the end of William's career as he is already 29 years old and has only played twelve games over the past three seasons.

After two seasons of heavy speculation as to how the San Diego Chargers would shake out their quarterback situation, it is has become apparent that they have come to a decision. Chargers' management have turned down the opportunity to designate Brees as their transitional or franchise player, which effectively means Brees will be able to determine his value on the free agent market. As someone who follows the Chargers, I find this to be an interesting decision as it rests their hopes on an untested, although highly touted, quarterback (and we all know how that can turn out). On the other hand it shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the Chargers are spending a good deal of cash to have Rivers sit on the bench, not to mention the question of whether Brees will be able to return from a shoulder injury he sustained to his throwing arm in the last game of the season (see Chad Pennington).

It is probably too far away from the NFL regular season to speculate as to who may decide to pick up Brees, if he in fact becomes a free-agent, but I think that despite his injury he has a lot to offer and could elevate a team to the next level (wherever that may be.)


At 3:06 AM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Hasn't Williams ever heard of the Original Whizzinator?

At 3:24 AM, Blogger Alex said...

Part of me thinks that the Chargers are making a mistake in not franchising Brees. They're well under the cap, as far as I understand, so they should have the ability to pay both Brees and Rivers for another year. If Brees doesn't look to be recovered from his shoulder injury, they can let him walk after 2006. On the other hand, if he is okay, there's always a market for young Quarterbacks like Rivers.

There are only two explanations I can think of for this:

1. His shoulder is in worse shape than they're letting on.
2. They think they'll be able to resign him for less than his value as a 'franchised' player.

As a fan of the powder blue uniforms, I'm interested to see how this one plays out. You have to imagine that there will be a bidding war if the Chargers don't lock him up before the free agent period.

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

I think Williams may end up getting exhonerated in this one, if its not marijuana, I can't see Ricky doing blow or hitting up the roid train, so this may well be a Theodore/Propecia type situation.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Alex said...

BTW, welcome to the blog Nate. As a Flames fan, do you have any thoughts on why Iginla is struggling in the Olympics?

At 5:29 PM, Blogger Nathan Muhly said...

He actually has two goals, which is almost as much as the team's past three game total. In the post-game Gretzky defended Iggy and Hrudey concluded that Jarome needed to play way better. "News Flash": The whole team needs to play better. Two shots in the third period, way to hustle in the corners boys.


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