Birk is a good but far from an exceptional player. He's obviously experienced, smart and steady, but three years at twelve million (with six guaranteed) is obscene for a center, who will be entering his 12th season and has shown some wear and tear in recent years. The Ravens obviously were hurt by the loss of Jason Brown, but may well live to regret their hasty decision to sign this vet.
Unless Melvin Fowler were to drastically restructure his 2009 contract, it is highly unlikely he will return or get another league contract. He was clearly beaten out in 2008 by journeyman Duke Preston and nobody is likely to invest at a level anywhere near his $3,321,000 million dollar 2008 contract. I didn't think he showed the necessary quickness and never appeared to fit on blocks especially well. You just might see him on a roster next season, but his days as a starter appear to be over.
He sure fooled me as a college underclassman! I pushed extremely hard for both he and Kevin Curtis, but after some rather pedestrian seasons, I believe that the end is near for this little guy. At the time, I thought he showed explosiveness, was instinctive after the catch, and had excellent hands. In reality, he was undersized, had just adequate vertical speed and showed very inconsistent hands. What really disappointed me about him as a professional was not only his ineffectiveness as a returner, but also his lack of desire to play on special teams. I've seen a lot worse over the years, but without question, this guy is not the answer.
Is it possible that somebody out there is actually still thinking about signing this player with the hopes of him competing for a starting job? It's obvious that a number of teams - including his former club - have some real problems at the position (Detroit, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Washington, NY Jets, Minnesota; that's right the Vikings) and with some potential problems possibly existing in Tennessee, Oakland and Miami, there is a real possibility that somebody out there just might consider signing sexy Rexy……. Nah! If you were looking for a potential destination; if I had to guess I would look for him the hometown Colts to give him the opportunity to compete for the number two spot.
I just want to know... who is this guy's agent? The journeyman safety/cornerback was drafted in the seventh round by the Cardinals and has had the good fortune of signing an amazing three unrestricted free agent contracts during his unremarkable eight year professional career, most recently with the Denver Broncos ($10 million over four years). In 2008, the former Dolphin earned nearly 8 million dollars in total compensation! As boxing promoter Don King once said, "Only in America!"
6 - Jimmy Kennedy - Minnesota Vikings
Most of our scouts, coaches and high-powered front office people with the Rams were not only very surprised, but gleeful when this big Penn State product was available on our first selection. It didn't take long (one mini-camp) to see that we had made a colossal mistake with the pick. Kennedy had little in the way of strength, lacked quickness and ran poorly. After his uneventful stint with the Rams, Kennedy spent time with the Jaguars, Bears and finally last season with the Vikings primarily as an injury fill-in journeyman player. He's not going to be an expensive mistake, but the key word in this sentence is the word "mistake". Fool me once, shame on you... fool me five times, you literally don't know what you are doing.
This three-time pro bowl player is the only player in NFL history with better than thirty sacks and thirty interceptions. After not finishing three of the past four seasons due to injury, missing the first four games of the 2007 season after admitting to using HGH and after 14 seasons, I'd have to say his career is officially over. Age and injuries are impossible to overcome.
Wow, is somebody actually still paying this guy? It's too bad the AFL is no longer with us, but I'm sure there are a number of AFL2 clubs on the left coast looking for a back-up quarterback.
Amani is another veteran player (13 seasons) who whose outstanding career appears to be un-officially over. The Giants are desperately trying to upgrade this position, but after watching Amani perform in the second half of the 2008 season, there is no doubt in my mind that this once top ranked receiver will not be there in 2009. Toomer can no longer run and made far too many mental mistakes.
Once considered one of the top linebackers in the game, Spikes slipped badly in his last two seasons with the Bills and has not set the world on fire in the last two campaigns as a member of the Eagles and 49ers. Even for his modest 2008 salary of $1.7 million, I still don't believe that there will be any further interest in this former star defender. After all, one has to believe that someone in the pro scouting departments throughout the league is actually looking at some game tape.
In my opinion, the Redskins signed the top player in this year's free agent period, (Albert Haynesworth). But they lost a lot of points in my mind by re-signing very talented, but narcissistic, corner DeAngelo Hall. As talented as he was, few people in Blacksburg were saddened by his decision to declare for the draft as a junior and after four seasons and two pro-bowl appearances, the Falcons were for the most part happy to see the outspoken coach-killer take his game to the left coast. His stay in Oakland proved to be a total disaster and the club jettisoned him at the half way point of the 2008 season. This act cost the Raiders dearly in terms of accelerating his bonus number, but the Raiders did so without hesitation. From there he was signed as a free agent by the Redskins and performed admirably as a back up corner and special teams player. The questions that beg to be answered are as follows: (1) how incorrigible must he be for a club like the Raiders to cut bait in less than one season of play, and (2) given his history, why would the Redskins commit both money and years to this player?