It’s the NFL offseason again. I’m never going to get used to this. Other sports may thrive during this time, but the NFL remains the pinnacle of viewer activity, as evidenced by the fact that…well, we’re here, aren’t we?
The NFL’s legislative branch, in the person of Commissioner Roger Goodell, is already busy deliberating further rule changes and advertising methodology. I find it a little baffling that Goodell requires research and focus groups to determine that ad placement during games is currently annoying, and has been so for decades. But for a guy that’s been remarkably tone-deaf to his league’s fans, I suppose this is progress.
Speaking of which, the Browns are making real progress in free agency, having improved their offensive line significantly. The Browns may not be contenders in 2017, but they should protect their quarterback – whoever it may be – far better than they did in 2016, when the line gave up a league-high 66 sacks. No wonder the Browns are evaluating free agent and rookie quarterbacks.
Speaking of which; in a league starved for even mediocre quarterback play, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is still unemployed. Despite the criticisms of President Trump, the prevailing theory is that Kaepernick disrespected the league with his openly political stance last season, essentially “spitting in the eye” of the parent organization that provided for him. Be that as it may, one also has to keep in mind that Kaepernick simply hasn’t been very good, and seems incapable of running a traditional NFL offense.
Speaking of which, the Saints are rumored to have interest in NFL castoff quarterback Johnny Manziel, whose claims of sobriety have yet to be validated. This column wishes no harm to Manziel or the Saints, but one has to wonder why Manziel would deserve any consideration from the NFL at all, particularly after blatantly displaying his shocking lack of maturity on numerous occasions since he was drafted. Saints head coach Sean Payton has a reputation as a quarterback “guru”; if he’s able to mold Manziel into a respectable player, he’ll be akin to a religious icon in NFL circles.
Speaking of which, a revered Steelers great had some harsh words for Steelers wideout Antonio Brown regarding his Facebook Live post directly following the team’s playoff victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s important to note the era in which Greene played; one wonders if, given the same access, Greene and his contemporaries would have been able to restrain themselves from using social media in similar circumstances. Sounds like a bit of a “get off my lawn” moment…
Speaking of which, Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s latest rant against the NCAA, the media, and his own team have left many scratching their heads. For a guy that’s enjoyed the level of success that he has, Saban seems to get angrier by the year, and it’s fair to wonder if his “my way or the highway” approach is starting to take its toll. Take a vacation, Nick – the Tide can do without you for a few weeks.
Speaking of which, it’s almost time for the weekend to begin. Enjoy it, folks.