Peerless' Red Flags

It's easy to understand the Cowboy groundswell of excitement regarding the availability of Peerless Price.

He is, after all, not 33, not fragile, not unproven, not a former small-college QB, and not a disgruntled ex-Brown.

Price -- released this week by Atlanta and now courted by a number of NFL teams, including Dallas -- has a resume. In his best season with the Falcons, he caught 64 passes for 838 yards and three touchdowns. ... and that was considered a sub par year because expectations were so high after he left Buffalo (and teammate Drew Bledsoe) with fat numbers and a fat ($37 mil) wallet.

In recent seasons, Price found himself in a pinch in Atlanta. He was the prized catch of a previous regime, so he isn't young coach Jim Mora Jr.'s "guy.'' He went to Atlanta under a system different than the West Coast Offense installed by Mora and staff, and so maybe he didn't fit that way, either.

So at 28, he's an ex-No. 1 receiver.

Said Falcons coach Jim Mora: "Sometimes things just don't work out. You change coaches, change schemes, there's other demands. There could be personality conflicts, production compared to salary. There are a lot of reasons. ... Peerless is a good person. It's my hope he has a productive career — somewhere else."

Price's availability can be explained away in ways other than to simply state that he's been "Alvin Harpered''; i.e., a second receiver (he was second to Eric Moulds in Buffalo like Harp was second to Irvin in Dallas) who moves to a new town to be the new sheriff (Harp went to Tampa Bay) only to be exposed. (Harp spent most of his Tampa time in the hot tub.)

The Cowboys are on record as saying they plan to talk to Price's agent McGee. And coach Bill Parcells is on record as saying he has issues with the Cowboys' depth at wide receiver. At 2:09 p.m. today, I even heard from one of his old University of Tennessee buddies that Price might be hanging out in Dallas at this very minute.

But maybe just in an effort to play devil's advocate, may I point out a few devilishly red flags that pop up around Peerless?

1) Let's go back to Mora: "Personality conflicts''? With a coach who's rep is built on a terrific relationship with Michael Vick? Odd.

2) The Falcons were so disgusted with his fit that they are willing to take a $5.7 mil cap hit in order to dump him. Bad.

3) The Cowboys need their backups to be special teamers, and I'm not exactly picturing Peerless Price volunteering to block on field goals. Agreed?

4) The guys who are still on Atlanta's roster, left in Price's wake, are largely crumb-bums. High picks Michael Jenkins and Roddy White ahead of him? OK. The next two guys are Dez White and Brian Finneran? Um, OK. Still on a roster that Price couldn't make: Guys named Cole Magner, Romby Bryant, Brian Bratton and Will Pettis. Bleccch.

5) Assume if you will that Price simply needs a change of scenery. But know that he spat on the old scenery as he exited it. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Peerless' parting shot as he drove from the Falcons' parking lot was, "I hate y'all!''

There are a lot of reasons not to hate Peerless Price, sure. I just thought you might want to pick through some of those devilishly red flags.

Mike Fisher is the editor of and hosts a daily sports-talk show, "Fish For Lunch,'' noon-to-3 on 990 Texas Talk Radio (990am in North Texas, and on the web.) Contact him at

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