1) Last off season the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed defensive end Michael Johnson away from the Cincinnati Bengals with a 5-year, $43.75 million deal. He only racked up 4 sacks for the Bucs so they cut him, which led to his return to Cincinnati on a 4-year, $20 million deal.
Annual terms of Johnson's Cincy deal have yet to be determined, but he can find solace in the fact that Tampa Bay will still be paying him $7 million this year. In a weird twist I saw come across Twitter yesterday, the Bengals hold a 3rd round 2015 compensatory pick from losing Johnson last year, and now they have him back.
Keep in mind this off season's "prize" free agent signing could end up being next off season's high priced mistake.
2) I just don't see any way the Minnesota Vikings can trade Adrian Peterson. Forget that he'll be 30 years old in a few days -- practically ancient in RB years -- and just look to his contract. There are three years and $45 million left on his deal, which may not make a potential PR nightmare worth it.
If the relationship between him and the Vikes is beyond repair, they'll have no choice but to cut him.
3) I think the three also-rans in the AFC East are tired of looking up at the New England Patriots. Since 1994 the Patriots have only missed the postseason 5 times, in the last 21 years they have had 14 Division titles, including the last 6, and they only had a losing record twice in that time.
During this run by the Pats, the Buffalo Bills only have 4 playoff appearances, with their last coming in 1999. The New York Jets have 7 postseason runs, with their last in 2010, and the Miami Dolphins made the playoffs 8 times, with their last one in 2008.
The Bills, Jets and Dolphins have been very active this off season, with coaching changes, front office shakeups, trades and free agent signings. I'm not sure how much these teams have closed the gap, but the AFC East should be very competitive in 2015.
4) Not only does Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly run one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL, but his off season style is just as exciting.
His latest move; He had Tim Tebow in for a workout... but Tebow left without a deal.
5) One more Philly QB thought, even though Chip Kelly claims he has no intention of trading up for his former collegiate QB Marcus Mariota, Mariota feels it's a possibility. When asked if he thinks Kelly would make a move for him, he said;
"I wouldn't doubt it, but Coach Kelly and the Eagles are going to do what's best for the team," Mariota said on the day of the Maxwell Football Club's annual awards gala. "We'll see what happens."
If Kelly truly believes Mariota can run his offense better than anyone else out there, then he should do whatever it takes to move up.
6) The New Orleans Saints' trading of Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham was their big shocker last week, but they also moved promising wide out Kenny Stills. Their apparent everyone-must-go fire sale has many NFL fans confounded as to what exactly they're doing.
But then you look at the draft, and realize they now have 5 of the first 78 picks and 9 overall. Also keep in mind that they still have Drew Brees at the trigger of their offense, and that they play in the very winnable NFC South. Even if they move a few more pieces for cap relief and/or draft picks, I think they'll still be in the mix to knock off defending division champion Carolina Panthers, who won with a 7-8-1 record last year.
7) The Indianapolis Colts offense should be doing some great things next year, with Frank Gore and Andre Johnson added to the already outstanding Andrew Luck.
8) Whom do you think is the best wide out in the 2015 NFL Draft, Alabama's Amari Cooper or West Virginia's Kevin White?
Last week I simmed through a 7 round mock draft taking a BPA approach for the Chicago Bears and I went with White at 7th overall for Chicago. That prompted a brief Twitter discussion on whom I felt was the better player between the two top wide outs available. The way I see it, Cooper is more polished, but White has the higher ceiling, and both are going to be outstanding pros.
9) I just keep telling myself if the Bears are passing on all these players with ties to head coach John Fox, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and GM Ryan Pace, they must have some valid reasons.
The Bears seem content to sit back and wait out some of the larger contract demands, which is probably the smart play in this market.
I would expect some small one year prove-it type deals in the next couple of weeks.
EDIT: My Thoughts were written before the Bears signed guard Vladimir Ducasee to a one year deal
10) Did you catch what Bears linebacker Christian Jones wrote on a recent Instagram post?
Y'all can say what you want about Jay, but just know him and @kylelong75 was the first guys on the team to encourage me and believe in me as a person and player after going undrafted. I got a lot respect for both of my teammates, and I'm looking forward to getting back to work with them.
Y'all can say what you want about Jay, but just know him and @kylelong75 was the first guys on the team to encourage me and believe in me as a person and player after going undrafted. I got a lot respect for both of my teammates, and I'm looking forward to getting back to work with them. #BearDown #RebirthOfTheMonsters #TheBestIsYetToCome #PrayedUp #Blessed
Or the recent comments from Bears offensive guard Matt Slauson?
"I have every confidence in (Cutler) -- his ability, his intelligence," Slauson recently told WGN radio. "The guy can be the best in the league. We just have to do a better job, as a team, supporting him. We didn't do a very good job of that last year."
Or this tweet from the other offensive guard, Kyle Long.
Faaaaammmmlaaaaay pic.twitter.com/Sy6a7wmER1— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) March 16, 2015
Have you checked out the header photo on Chicago right tackle Jordan Mills' Twitter page. Yep, it's him and his quarterback celebrating.
It seems there's always an unnamed source taking shots at Jay Cutler, but if you look hard enough you can find his teammates supporting him.