Now that the 2010 NFL Draft is in the books, things are happening around the league as teams make moves to fill out their rosters for the upcoming season. On top of that, recent mini-camps have given us a glimpse of some changes that might be in store for some franchises in 2010.
Where will Bulger land?
Now that Marc Bulger has let the draft dust settle, he’s got to be anxious to figure out where he’ll be playing next season. The former Rams quarterback and two-time Pro Bowler would likely want to compete for the starting job wherever he went. That might be asking a bit much after his play during the last two seasons but there are opportunities out there.
With Brett Favre’s situation in Minnesota taking an odd turn (shocking that would happen to anything involving Favre), the Vikings might be willing to ink Bulger as insurance against having to ever start Tarvaris Jackson again. In Chicago, offensive coordinator Mike Martz would prefer a veteran backup to Jay Cutler, and he clearly has an excellent relationship with Bulger. The Arizona Cardinals would likely be the other team looking for a veteran who has had success in the league to bolster their roster.
Bulger will definitely sign somewhere in the near future and those three teams seem like the most logical destinations.
Ronnie Brown out of Miami after 2010?
There were some rumors about the Dolphins looking to deal running back Ronnie Brown as draft day approached this year. Nothing materialized but given Brown’s injury history and the fact that he’s still recovering from a Lisfranc fracture (is he just making up injuries now?) the Bill Parcells may be tiring of having to deal with Brown’s issues. He’s currently a restricted free agent and has a one-year contract on the table that he hasn’t signed. If he does ink the deal (he will eventually) it wouldn’t be surprising if the Dolphins looked to the draft for another running back after next season.
Parcells values durability and guys who can fill multiple roles in the backfield, Brown is a heck of a back but the Dolphins’ current Executive Vice President of Football Operations is smart enough to know that running backs are easily replaced. Considering that Ricky Williams rushed for a team-high 1,121 yards last season, a big contract for an oft-injured guy just doesn’t seem like Parcells’ style.
Pacman to the Bengals looks almost done
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis has confirmed that Cincinnati has been in touch with Pacman Jones’ agent but that the discussions hadn’t advance beyond the contact stages. Well, today Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that Jones was in Cincy working out for the Bengals. Given that the Detroit Lions (another team reported to have interest in Pacman) have no intentions to sign the free agent cornerback, the Packers are apparently the only other team looking at the corner.
We’ve discussed this before but the Bengals really shouldn’t take this chance. Jones is talented but if it didn’t work out in Dallas – where second chances seemingly grow on trees – there’s no way this guy has anything to offer the Bengals.
Alex Barron could be headed out of St. Louis
The St. Louis Rams used the No. 33 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft on Indiana offensive tackle Roger Saffold. As a proud Hoosier alumni I’m elated that Saffold was picked so high, nice work young Roger. One guy who can’t be thrilled with that selection is current Rams tackle Alex Barron. Barron currently plans to sign his RFA tender, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be traded or cut due to St. Louis’ pick of Saffold.
Saffold worked at both tackle spots and at guard during the Rams’ mini-camp, and the team will use him wherever he fits best. But with 2009 first-rounder Jason Smith at one tackle spot and Saffold looking like a natural fit on the right side, Barron’s time in St. Louis could be up. If it is determined that Barron is the best guy for the left side, we could see Smith stay at right tackle for 2010, with Saffold at a guard spot until the 2011 season. I don’t think that happens though. With a newly-drafted franchise quarterback the time to build the future is now for the Rams. They should go for the best alignment possible to win the in future.
Panthers QB battle has already begun
Matt Moore doesn’t exactly blow anyone away at the quarterback position, so it’s no surprise that the Carolina Panthers will push second round pick Jimmy Clausen to take his job. The Chicago Tribune has reported that Clausen moved to endear himself to teammates after the draft by sending text messages to his rookie teammates and Panthers team leaders like Steve Smith, DeAngel0 Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Jordan Gross and Thomas Davis.
Many experts feel the Panthers and Clausen are a great match and it might be better for Carolina to give the Notre Dame product every chance to start. Especially since Moore (career 84.5 quarterback rating) definitely isn’t the future.
Mike Williams impresses at Bucs mini-camp
Syracuse wide receiver Mike Williams might have been the steal of the 2010 NFL Draft. The first round talent slipped to the fourth round and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scooped him up with the 101st pick. Williams then proceeded to perform exceptionally well at Tampa Bay’s recent mini-camp and impress enough to get people thinking he can be an impact guy immediately. While the Bucs would still like to add a veteran receiver to the depth chart, Williams and fellow rookie Arrelious Benn could end up starting this fall, with 2009 draftee Sammie Stroughter in the slot.
With second-year quarterback Josh Freeman under center that’s a ridiculously young group but the talent and potential of such a group is definitely intriguing.