Yesterday, as news broke of the sanctions imposed by the NFL on the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins, just like any Cowboys fan, I was extremely frustrated. I took to the video camera to record a venting session based on the information that was available at the time. If you'd like to take a gander at how I was feeling yesterday evening, here it is. Volume 1.02 for your perusal.
Obviously, we've had additional information surface since this was recorded; including statements from the NFL Management Council (vague) and both penalized teams (defiant). We've learned that the Saints and Raiders also were penalized for violating this "unwritten rule" but they weren't as naughty as Dallas and Washington, so they don't lose any cap space; they just can't share in the distribution of the fine amongst the remaining NFL teams.
At this point, I still am having a hard time seeing how this isn't collusion, how the NFL didn't basically strong arm the NFLPA into accepting this sanction against two clubs, amongst numerous other questionable things that have been hashed out in O.C.C.'s articles and the outstanding comments by BTB on them.
I'm assuming we hear something today, but if not, Dallas will proceed with plans to postpone the penalty until next season while they figure out some course of action to fight this.
I apologize for a couple things. One, the late delivery; this was supposed to be available yesterday but... Two, the audio isn't as clean as the first video. I had technical difficulties for the last week and am waiting on a replacement audio part to arrive. The process to get this published was extremely affected, but I will not be stopped. Thanks for those that give it a view.
Follow the jump to see how Dallas might be dealing with some of their own free agents.
"Just when i thought I was out... they pull me back in." - Al Pacino in "The Godfather"
Lost amidst all the hysteria that surrounded yesterday's gut shot punch, aka 'The Goodell, Gimme Your Cap Space Suckas' was this interesting tidbit.
Dallas brass spent part of their day meeting with Martellus Bennett, according to Calvin Watkins of ESPN. An unnamed source said that the talks were "productive", which at this point means just about nothing.
It was just last week that Bennett seemed to be saying his goodbyes to the Dallas community, hopeful for an opportunity to become a "No. 1 guy, a 60-catch-plus guy on a team" and that clearly isn't happening with Jason Witten signed through 2017.
Apparently, though, the bridges haven't been burnt and the two sides were at least interested in seeing where each other stood on the situation. Maybe they just wanted to leave on good terms.
One of the constant battles in the comment sections of BTB, pretty much since January, has been the attempt to figure out how much upstart wide receiver Laurent Robinson will be offered and how much he'll be looking for.
After being signed, released, then re-signed, Robinson quickly became a favorite target of quarterback Tony Romo, making the consistent play as well as the crucial one, and staying healthy for the length of the season. When 2011 was all said and done, Robinson reached the finish line with 54 catches, 858 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was eighth in the league in DYAR with 343 yards (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement is a Football Outsiders stat that calculates how many more yards a player accrued above an average replacement player). he ranked even higher, third, with a 43.1% DVOA (Defense-Adjusted Value Over Average) which is basically a metric to measure importance at your position over the average player.
Pro Football Focus didn't like him as much of FO, giving him a +5.4 cumulative score on the season. They credit him for dropping seven passes on the season.
The overall issue isn't how these sites evaluate Robinson. It's how do you pay a man that "breaks out" but has never even been able to complete a full season? He might have put up Number Two receiver numbers, but what track record do you have to go down that road? There is none, and foolishly giving out large contracts prematurely has been a staple of this organization that we are desperately trying to get away from.
ESPN's Todd Archer took a look at some receivers that Robinson might be compared to when trying to establish the framework of a deal.
When Patrick Crayton was the Cowboys’ No. 3 receiver, he was signed to a four-year, $14 million deal. By 2010 the team had Austin, Bryant and Roy Williams, and Crayton’s $2.5 million salary became too expensive and he was traded to San Diego.
Some possible contracts to look at as barometers for Robinson: Chicago’s Earl Bennett signed a five-year deal worth $18.55 million last year. Jacksonville’s Mike Thomas is on a five-year, $19 million deal with $9 million guaranteed.
As Archer mentions, these might be good comparisons, but all it takes is one team to wreck all realism and offer Robinson a somewhat elite salary. Free agency begins today, folks, meaning the new league year is here. I absolutely love this time of the year, despite Goodell trying to ruin it for me. These are exciting days.
Just when I thought I was out...