Remember our programing note, the 5-at-10 will be out of the office in the back part of this week. We'll have mini-5-at-10s Wednesday and Thursday and depending on how many letters we get today, we may have a full pre-written mailbag or a mini-bag.
OK, let's get to it. From the "7-Up Stinks Studios," here we go...
NFL feeding frenzy (Part 1)
The deal is done. Now the dealing can commence.
It's hard to grasp the level of frenzy the next week will be for players, agents and GMs. Men will cry, everyone will lie and cell phones will assuredly die. And there's no way around it. Any of it, because the time window to fill up rosters is so miniscule by comparison.
Signing a team's draft picks will actually be the final item on most to-do lists (those players have their rights committed and the teams know they can't negotiate with other clubs). So, let's look at the first steps for the Titans and the Falcons.
Titans to-do list:
- Cut Vince Young, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Young's presence in the locker room would immediately undermine the new coaching staff, and any exposure for new quarterback Jake Locker from VY would be a bad thing.
- Sign Locker ASAP and Fed Ex him a playbook. The rookie appears to be the immediate option for this team, and so be it.
- Get out the checkbook. The Titans are eight-figures under the salary cap of $120 million, and the team will be around $20 million under the cap after cutting Young. Teams agreed to spend 99 percent of the salary cap through the next two years.
- Get Locker some help and not some competition. A lot of the national guys have the Titans making a punch for current free agent and longtime former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Is that really the message you want to send to a rookie quarterback that you reached to draft in the top 10 last spring?
- That said, do whatever it takes to win six games. Seriously. Go sign Charles Johnson, Santonio Holmes and the ghost of Walter Payton. Spend every cent possible to be as competitive as you can this season. Because if the Titans struggle and finish as bad as some think (the friends of the show on SportTalk have set the over-under on Titans' wins at four, and Dr. B - he's a doctor after all - thinks they are going 2-14) and have the top pick next April, Locker will not only be judged by what he accomplishes but also by what level of success is reached by next year's No. 1 pick - Stanford's Andrew Luck.
NFL feeding frenzy(Part 2)
The deal is done. Now the dealing can commence.
Let's look at the Falcons to-do list:
- Sign Julio Jones as soon as possible. Atlanta traded five good draft picks for Jones, an athletic beast who could be the final piece to the NFC's best offense. They paid a lot to move into the top 10 to draft Jones, a move that the 5-at-10 loved then and loves today, in an effort to make a serious push for the Super Bowl. Since rookie contracts have been roughly scaled under the new labor deal, Jones holdout would be over small dollars by comparison and any time away from his offensive teammates would be a hinderance.
- Sign Matt Bryant. The Falcons veteran kicker was very good last year. They need a guy that can deliver in the clutch.
- Solidify the OLine. Three starters - tackle Tyson Clabo and guards Harvey Dahl and Justin Blalock - are free agents. They either need to be resigned - especially Clabo - or replaced, but with the arsenal of skill position weapons in Atlanta, don't skimp on the big boys.
- Trust Thomas. In this frenzy, clubs that have strong leadership and sound decision-making will have an even bigger advantage than normal. That's where Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff comes in. Teams with the best organizations are going to have the best chance this year. There was a time that the previous sentence would have sent Johnny Falcons Fan into cardiac arrest. Now, it continues to add coal to the Super Bowl Steam Engine.
- Another pass rusher would be nice, too.
Those pesky Pirates
After a two-hour rain delay, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Braves 3-1. Violations of a couple of fundamental baseball rules cost the Braves on Monday.
- Walks are painful. Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson walked three Pirates - all three scored. That's 100 percent. There's your simple math lesson for the day.
- Missed opportunities are bad. The Braves left nine on base - including an empty sixth after loading the bases with one out - and scored once despite nine hits. The Pirates left five on base and scored three runs on just five hits.
Braves sidenote: Dan Uggla' had a single in the sixth inning Monday to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 16 games. When they said that last night while the 5-at-10 was watching the game, we thought Captain Misinformation Aaron Boone was doing the game. Later we learned that an error against Miguel Cairo on Sunday was ruled a hit Monday to extend the streak. Uggla has hit in every game since his season started over on July 5 (the 5-at-10 called it Season 2011, Part Deux). That said, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Our Man Dan is the only player since 1900 to be under .200 at the end of 15-game hitting streak. So that has to mean Our Man Dan is the only player since 1900 to be under .200 at the end of a 16-game hitting streak, too. That's your second simple math lesson of the day.
This and that
- Hey, it appears the gift that is Lane Kiffin keeps on giving for Johnny Vols Fan. Wow, Kiffin and his staff "were provided no fewer than 135 rules-education items," according to our UT ace Patrick Brown in his story in today's TFP. Wow. Kiffin and Co. were in Knoxville for roughly 13 months, so they got roughly 10 "rules-education items" a month (yes, that's another simple math lesson for today).
- There are swirling reports now that Terrelle Pryor may not be eligible for the NFL's supplemental draft. Dude can't catch a break, huh? Know what the 5-at-10 does when it feels like the chips are stacked against us. That's right we go get a new tat. Go TP, go on and treat yourself.
- The rhetoric from college football media days is staggering. Our head hurts. Let's just move along.
Did the lockout affect your feeling about the NFL? Will you watch? Will you boycott? Do you view the NFL as background noise while you drink Bud Lights on Sundays? Who won, the players and D. Smith or the owners and R. Goodell?