Should the Chiefs Trade Larry Johnson?

June 25, 2007

Photo courtesy
Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson is looking for a new contract. And he’s willing to boycott training camp to get one. But rather than try to wage a losing battle in contract negotiations with this fantasy favorite, the Chiefs should consider trading LJ while his stock is so high.

I like that LJ’s agent, Alvin Keels, made it clear that greed is not why they are looking for more money:

“The point I’d like to get out is that if we were to have to hold out, it would be for the sake of good business, not being greedy. It’s not good business for a player who rushes the ball 416 times in a season, back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, back-to-back 1,700-yard seasons, back-to-back broken Kansas City Chiefs records, it’s not good business for him to come back in and play for $1.7 million. And that’s a sensitive area because $1.7 million is a lot more than most people in Kansas City make.”

Even a premiere running back’s shelf life in the NFL is shorter than at any other position. And at 27 years old, if LJ plays for longer than five more seasons I’d be surprised. Especially considering the number of carries he had last season, a record-setting 416. I know it might sound absurd to attempt to trade a player of this (current) caliber, but in what’s expected to be a rebuilding season for the Chiefs, it might just make the most sense. NFL Europa offensive co-MVP Derrick Ross will be in camp along with Priest Holmes (remember him?), Michael Bennett, Marcus O’Keith, and Kolby Smith, so it won’t be the end of the world, especially if the trade includes another running back. I say go for it. Send him to a RB-hungry playoff contender like the Eagles, Giants or Packers and get a good return — a really good return — on one of the best running backs in the NFL.

Pacman Could Face Even More Charges

June 25, 2007

Pacman Jones The felony charges filed this week in Las Vegas against Tennessee Titans’ cornerback Pacman Jones, and his subsequent surrender Friday, had ramifications in Murfreesboro, TN. Based on the actions of Las Vegas authorities, Rutherford County district attorney Bill Whitesell filed a petition Friday afternoon for reinstatement of a local case against Jones, according to The Tennessean. Charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication were brought against Jones following an altercation Aug. 25, 2006 at the Sweetwater Saloon.  General Sessions Judge David Loughry agreed to a six-month retirement of those charges at a preliminary hearing on Jan. 11 and ordered Jones to appear on July 5, at which time charges could be dropped and Jones’ record could be expunged if he met all agreement conditions. “The conditions were to abide by the terms set forth by the NFL and by the Titans and to conduct himself in a good and lawful manner,” Whitesell said.  “The charges filed against him in Las Vegas put into question whether he conducted himself in a good and lawful manner.”  Roger May, Jones’ attorney in the local case, was out of the office Friday afternoon and did not return a message left there.

Source: Grid Iron Gab

Marketing the NFL in London: Dolphins, Giants Already Promoting October Matchup

June 25, 2007

Jason Taylor
AP Photo

Members of the Miami Dolphins made a visit to Wembley Stadium in London a couple days ago to promote the NFL’s first-ever overseas regular season game. The Dolphins will face the New York Giants on Sunday, October 28, 2007. Naturally, DE Jason Taylor was the focus of attention because he’s the league’s defending defensive MVP and the leader of the team. But there’s more. I was reading an article at that reported PR powerhouse Rogers & Cohen were working with Jason to generate even more interest in this game. Sandy Friedman, the executive vice president for music and sports at R&C, while looking at a photo of a tuxedo-clad Jason and his beautiful wife, said to Jason and his agent:

“We sell Tim McGraw and Faith Hill as the First Couple of Country Music; that’s how we want to position you [as an NFL couple] over there. The trick is getting you off the sports pages and into the other parts of the paper — and that’s what this allows us to do. They’ll eat this up on Fleet Street. They love couples! We’ll make sure you’re seen with all the right people in all the right places. Because what you’re giving us, with the business interests and lifestyle and charitable efforts and entertainment ventures, is perfect for the business we’re in.”

So, you see what’s happening here? The powers-that-be are trying to generate interest in football from people who might not care about football. Which is fine. The NFL is worldwide and now that they’re playing regular season games outside of the U.S. for the first time, more efforts like this will be made to market NFL players globally. And to a diverse audience. It’s exciting for the game of professional football. But it’s kind of goofy at the same time if Jason and his wife are red-carpet posing in the tabloids. Nevertheless, I’m all for it if it brings more positive visibility to the game.

Source: Every Morning Quarterback