ALL ABOUT HARRY: As Scout.com noted before the draft, the team had targeted WR Harry Douglas in the middle rounds.
The coaches had targeted him because they want him to play in the slot where he could work in space to create mismatches with his great speed. Douglas was the star from the offensive side of the ball in Atlanta's post-draft camp.
Green Bay Packers
NELSON THEIR TOP RATED RECEIVER: The selection of WR Jordy Nelson with the first of their three second-round picks drew a few raised eyebrows. But a league source notes Nelson was not only Green Bay's top rated receiver in the draft, the former Kansas St. University product was the top rated player on their draft board at the time they were picking (No. 5 in the second round/No. 36 overall).
Since veteran WR Donald Driver is slowing down a bit, Nelson's selection makes more sense. Nelson could be Driver's eventual replacement in the starting lineup in a few years.
ROBISON'S A KEEPER: A league source familiar with the situation notes the Kansas City Chiefs asked for DE Brian Robison to be included in the trade for DE Jared Allen. Minnesota is pretty high on the former University of Texas defensive lineman and told the Chiefs they wouldn't give him up. Robison is expected to be the first end of the bench this season for the Vikings.
HOWARD LIKELY A GONER AFTER 2008: It came to a surprise to some that the team decided to bring back DE Darren Howard after two disappoint seasons of play. Howard is expected to see most of his playing time inside this season.
Scout.com has confirmed Howard has a roster bonus of $1 million for 2009 which would be hard to pay since he's slated to be a backup.
Howard signed a six-year, $30.5 million deal with $9.5 in guarantees back in March of 2006. Salary documents show he was paid a roster bonus of $6 million in 2006.
Howard also has roster bonuses of $1 million due in 2010 and $4 million in 2011.
JACK'S VALUE: Various league sources indicate had CB Jack Ikegwuonu
not suffered a torn ACL during a pre-combine workout, he likely would have been
selected in the second round. At least half of the league had a second round
grade on the former University of Wisconsin defensive back. Jack Ikegwuonu will
start of training camp on the PUP list then is expected to be headed to
season-ending injured reserve.
St. Louis Rams
AVERY COULD BE NEXT GREAT RAM RECEIVER: A league source notes that one of the reasons why the team targeted WR Donnie Avery in this year's draft was because they thought he could be another Isaac Bruce. While Avery isn't an accomplished route runner and he needs work in a few areas, he has tremendous speed and the ability to beat tight coverage. It may take Avery a while to adjusted to the pro game but he has a chance to be a good player down the road.
SHELTON COULD BE LOOKING AT LAST CHANCE: One interesting player in Washington's minicamp is RB Eric Shelton. The former second-round pick of the Carolina Panthers is a power back who has been a big underachiever at the NFL level. In fact, league sources said that Shelton could have been cut in August of his rookie season had he not been put on season-ending injured reserve.
THOMAS WASN'T REALLY THEIR MAN: It was widely believed that the team was going to select WR Devin Thomas with their first-round pick had CB Leodis McKelvin not dropped to them. A league source notes that Buffalo actually would have taken a defensive end (likely Derrick Harvey had the Jacksonville Jaguars not traded up for him) over Thomas.
NO WYNN FOR DEXTER: Scout,com has confirmed free agent CB Dexter Wynn (Houston Texans) visited the Cincinnati Bengals earlier this week. A league source notes Wynn was not offered a contract. Wynn is looked at by league personnel evaluators as a dime back who can also handle kick and punt returns.
WIMBLEY COULD BE A BIGGER FACTOR: OLB Kamerion Wimbley had a banner
rookie performance but his sophomore season wasn't as good.
A team source notes with the adjustments that have been made in their defensive scheme, Wimbley could be lined up outside more of the formation to get off the edge quicker. In coaches film study, Wimbley was a split second off of getting to the passer at least 20 times last season. The slight adjustment of where he lines up could be the difference in his production this season.
Wimbley, because of his stellar play as a rookie, has already voided the final season of his six-year deal.
QUINN CONTRACT BREAKDOWN: While it's been reported elsewhere that Brady Quinn stands to lose a lot of money should he continue to back up Derek Anderson, here some highlight's of his five-year deal:
- Five years. Of the total maximum he can earn ($30 million), only $7.75 million is guaranteed.
- He already received a roster bonus of $862,000 in 2007.
Before an option/buyout of $4.255 that was paid in 2008, Quinn's base salaries were:
2008: $1.43 million
2009: $1.720 million
2010: $2.07 million
Now his remaining base salaries are:
Note: These are listing of the incentives in his contract that we found interesting for readers. These are not the entire incentives.
- $5 million bonus to be paid in 2010 on 55 percent playing time in two of the first three years of the deal. He'll almost certainly not receive that since he didn't start a game last season and Anderson is set to start again in 2008 unless he gets hurt.
- $1 million per season ($250,000 for top-five ranking in each of six QB statistical categories)
- $25,000 workout bonuses each season through 2011.
- $600,000 bonus per year with 70 percent of the snaps in the regular season and the team has to make the playoffs.
- He can get a bonus of $125,000 for each wild card game played, $250,000 for each division game played, $400,000 for each championship game played, and $600,000 for each Super Bowl game played.
- $250,000 for making the Pro Bowl (must be voted in and not named as a replacement).
- He could have made $500,000 for being named NFL Rookie of the year.
- $500,000 for winning the NFL MVP award.
- $500,000 for being named Super Bowl MVP.
As you can see, it would be smarter to keep Quinn under the terms of the contract since he would have to not only start, but he would have to do quite well in order to receive those incentives. And if he did well, that means the team would be winning and both sides would be quite happy.
As Scout.com first noted before the draft, Anderson has roster bonuses coming in 2009 and 2010 so if he struggles in 2008, Quinn could get a chance to hit some of those incentives.
LONG CONTRACT BREAKDOWN: It has been widely speculated that rookie OT Jake Long's contract is for five years. According to salary documents that Scout.com has gotten a chance to look at, Long's deal is actually for six seasons. However, Long can void the final year of the deal if two conditions are met.
Long has to be on the roster five days after team is done playing in the 2012 season (including playoffs).
The other condition is much easier to meet.
He has to participate in at least 35 percent of the plays in 2008 and at least 45 percent in either 2009, 2010, 2011, or 2012 regular season games. Since Long is penciled in to start this season and for many years to come, he'll meet the second condition easily unless he suffers a serious injury.
Long can also make up to $500,000 for this season if he is named as AFC Rookie of the Year ($250,000 bonus), AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year ($250,000 bonus), or NFL Rookie of the Year ($250,00 bonus). The contract stipulates he can only get paid for two of those achievements even if he won all three.
He can also make bonus money in future years for Pro Bowl appearances (he must be voted in and not named as a replacement) and for team wins.
JORDAN STILL CARRYING HIGH CAP NUMBER: Remarkably, Oakland is still carrying veteran LaMont Jordan's $6.1 salary cap number despite the fact that he would be no better than No. 4 on the running back depth chart this season if he remained on the roster. As of Friday morning, Oakland barely has enough cap space to sign their rookies.
Part of the problem is the cap number of CB Nnamdi Asomugha who carries $9.465 million with his franchise tag designation. It would be prudent for Oakland to get him signed to an extension in order to significantly lower his cap number for 2008. So far, there's been no indication of any progress on that front.
JOHNSON WAS THEIR MAN FOR ALL ALONG: Not only did Tennessee want to select RB Chris Johnson with their first-round pick, a league source notes the decision was pretty much made after the coaching staff reviewed his NFL combine workout tape. Felix Jones, who was selected by the Dallas Cowboys, was the second back on Tennessee's draft board according to the source.
The team was looking for a speedy back who could make big plays in the running game--something starter LenDale White is incapable of doing. The plan, according to sources familiar with the situation, is for Johnson to be used on many runs that take him out to the perimeter where he can use his speed to get around end so he can run to daylight. White will play on mostly run downs and see plays called for him to run inside.