This coming NFL off-season is already building momentum to be a carousel of action with personnel changes from front offices to team rosters, mainly because there is a lot of significant “stuff “that is going on, but none more intriguing than some QB shuffling in the making. So let’s ride!
This makes me think about the deep dive that the Broncos franchise is taking this holiday season. I think there was no real surprise when Nathaniel Hackett was let go as the Broncos Head Coach. The team has been downright miserable this season, just like its newly minted Franchise QB RUSSELL WILSON. Seems to me that some Owners, either intentionally or coincidentally (you decide for yourself) are rubbing salt into the wounds of their fired employees. As if the COLTS IRSAY hiring his former player Jeff Saturday, over an entire staff of experienced NFL Assistants wasn’t bad enough, look at how Mr. Walmart has handled things already in Denver . The new interim Head Coach in Denver is none other than JERRY ROSBURG, who was hired mid-season to help HC Hackett with in-game management issues from upstairs in the coaching box. I don’t think he has much chance at retaining the HC job going forward, but in an interesting twist ROSBURG will report directly to CEO GREG PENNER, not GM George PATON. Smells to me like PATON is now unofficially on a short, very short, leash. Not sure of the extent of sports management for PENNER, but he ain’t no dummy. He did marry a WALTON girl and all her inherited money. Stay tuned up in the Mile High City for an interesting off-season.
After an initial burst of energy in Indianapolis with the JEFF SATURDAY coaching adventure I think the one thing that Owner JIM IRSAY should be aware of by now is that his overall roster is the biggest issue with this COLTS team, not simply MATT RYAN not being a good fit there, which he certainly IS NOT. But neither is NICK FOLES the answer, nor SAM EHLINGER. The overall roster needs bulking up, and a younger, longer term QB is needed. They need a guy that the organization knows will be around for more than a year or two, ala RYAN/RIVERS. Then GM CHRIS BALLARD must be charged with some better overall personnel decision making.
And so the long and winding trail of a potential NFL QB merry-go-round this off-season marches on to LAS VEGAS, where it seems pretty clear that DEREK CARR may be moving on after a 9-year run as the RAIDERS QB. GM DAVE ZIEGLER has scuttled what was a Play-Off team roster last season, and brought in some questionable replacement pieces in many instances. It has the feel to me of a GRUDEN/MAYOCK purge, likely dictated from MARK DAVIS’ office to cover up some poor decision making on his part, whispering from behind a thick curtain, much like the Wizard of Oz. A recent team roster print that I undertook showed slightly more than half of the roster players (minus Practice Squad) are new to the team this year. Of note should be that fact that they did make the Play-Offs last season, albeit briefly.
Why was CARR benched this past week? Too many Interceptions on the season is a big part of it. He has thrown for 24 TD to date, but also 14 INT. That is well below the mark that NFL QB are expected to achieve in the 24/14 ratio of TD to INT. It seems like new head Coach Josh McDaniels might be looking forward to a new starting QB of his own choosing. Word of caution to Mr. Davis… McDaniels once took a HC job with Denver and as he demanded more player control within that franchise personnel moves were made that in summation were a net negative, and he was soon sent packing. Learn from the past Mr. Davis. It also seems that some of the decision makers have forgotten that in recent months highly touted add-in DaVANTE ADAMS (who engineered his exit from Green Bay to Las Vegas in good part to join his college QB CARR) was the only starting receiver available to play for a month plus of games. Both RENFRO & WALLER spent serious time on the injured list during mid-season play.
Why bench CARR now? To avoid injury, which if serious enough to end his career, would guarantee all $121.5-million of his new contract extension. If he stays healthy the team can dispose of him within 3 days of the Super Bowl and only be on the hook for a relatively paltry $5.62-million in a trade or outright cut.
It would seem to me that at least a dozen NFL teams would sniff around a bit at a guy like CARR in his early 30’s. How about a CARR for AARON RODGERS swap shortly after the season ends?
Stick around folks the NFL off-season could look wilder than ever in a couple of months, or less.
Hope your Christmas was Merry, and wishing you all a Happy New Year!
R.I.P. Mr. Parker, missing you always.