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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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1) The Minnesota Vikings have been building a very good defense the last few years, and they just locked up one of their better defenders. Safety Harrison Smith is now the highest paid safety (in terms of average per year) in the NFL after inking a five year contract worth $51.25 million.

Do you guys think he's worth it?

2) Are people really criticizing new Houston Texans (and former Denver Broncos) quarterback Brock Osweiler for skipping Denver's White House visit?

Osweiler had an OTA scheduled yesterday with Houston and he'd rather practice with his new team than hang with his old team. I'm sure part of him is still a little salty about how things went down in Denver, but skipping a visit with his former team is the right thing to do.

It sends the message that he's 100% focused on getting the Texans in position to make a White House trip themselves some day.

3) Another Ex-Bronco did go to the White House yesterday, and current Chicago Bears' ILB Danny Trevathan sent out a tweet about his travel arrangements.

I'm sure with all that new cash the Bears gave him, he could have upgraded his seat to first class, but he wasn't really concerned about it.

4) Ray Farmer, the man that drafted Johnny Manziel as GM of the Cleveland Brownssaid that the Browns' organization is to blame for Manziel's troubles.

"The club has to be prepared to handle the player regardless of their celebrity, regardless of their position, regardless of what they're required to do," Farmer said during a segment on ESPN's NFL Insiders on Monday.
According to Farmer, Manziel did his "share" of what was asked. The problem in Cleveland was that the Browns weren't prepared to handle Manziel's celebrity.

"In Johnny's case, I truly feel like a lot of people piled on the young man," Farmer said. "He's done his share of helping everybody get on top of that bandwagon, but the reality is the responsibility is born by both the club, and the player."

So basically he's saying the Browns should have coddled Manziel.

Every player coming into the league has some form of assistance available to them. There are programs made available to players and in some instances, players are required to go through certain programs.

Manziel has no one to blame for his troubles except himself.

5) New York Jets newcomer and ex Bear Matt Forte is expecting to have a big year in the Big Apple. One of the reasons he chose the Jets was their outstanding training room. "At this point in your career, health is so important. You're not as young as you used to be, or recover as fast as you used to. But if you get the right [trainers] in there and work with them, you can turn back the time."

If Forte can stay healthy, the offense the Jets are planning to run could bring him close to a career year. Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is going to work his scheme around Forte instead of making Forte fit his offense. Forte is excited for what the Jets have in store for him. "I'm looking forward to getting back into having a fullback, a lead blocker, a power-type running game," plus they will still utilize him in the passing game as much as he's used to.

I would not be surprised to see the 30 year old back in the Pro Bowl this year.

6) It turns out Broncos' Aqib Talib, who was shot over the weekend, may have accidentally shot himself.

7) The NFL's Twitter account was hacked!

If you could hack their Twitter account, what would you Tweet out?

8) Our sister site, the Pride Of Detroit, took a look at the athleticism of the projected starting offensive line for all 32 teams in the NFL. They used the Relative Athletic Score (RAS), which is a measurement of athleticism using the NFL Combine and pro day data. The Detroit Lions were dead last with the Philadelphia Eagles in the top spot. The Chicago Bears checked in at 12th.

The RAS numbers are obviously skewed as some older players simply aren't as athletic as they once were, but then again, some players may be better athletes as they get in NFL shape.

One thing that stood out to me about the RAS numbers from a Bears perspective is the high RAS for ex-Bear Matt Slauson. He's now with the San Diego Chargers, and his workout numbers from 2009 had him at a 7.47 RAS. The guy that may replace him in the Bears starting lineup, rookie Cody Whitehair, has a 7.38 RAS. I'm sure we all realize that the 30 year old Slauson has lost a step, but we'll have to wait and see how Chicago's offense makes use of the athletic upgrade.

9) USA Today's "For The Win!" section is getting in on the Top 100 NFL Player list action, and they dropped their version yesterday. The usual suspects are up near the top, Aaron Rodgers, J.J. Watt, Tom Brady, Aaron Donald, etc., but it's who's not on the list that I found interesting. There's isn't one Chicago Bear in their 100.

I'm not that surprised, but the last few such lists we've spotlighted had a Bear or 2 pop up in the lower half.

10) I know it's not technically football related, but one of the all time greats passed away over the weekend and the NFL reacted via social media to the death of Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest sportsmen of all time.

Ali inspired athletes in every sport to be great.

For those of you that didn't know, Ali's daughter Laila Ali has been married to former Chicago Bears' wide out Curtis Conway since 2007.

What are some of your thoughts this week?