May is historically dead time in football lore, the doldrum days featuring the minicamps, OTAs and training camp. But something is always going on in the NFL. As such, we will proceed with the ramblings of an old chief.
Micheal Vick is soon to be released from Leavenworth and then it’s on to a halfway house. Ultimately, his freedom could be restored by the beginning of training camp. But other issues remain: 1.) What owner wants to face the ridicule of PETA and doglovers everywhere?; 2.) He must face the fact that he lied to commissioner Roger Goodell prior to his indictment. Some league sources feel that the commissioner will levy an additional 4-8 game suspension for his deceit of the commissioner. The Micheal Vick saga continues.
Salary cap issues abound around the NFL. The NFL recently re-figured the salary cap by adding an additional one million dollars to each franchise. But what about the Chiefs, 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, each of which are approximately 30 million under the cap!?!? According to sources, they must be within a certain amount of the total salary cap number and aren’t even close at this point. How the Chiefs will get to this figure only Pioli knows, but a long-term contract for Matt Cassel seems likely.
Roger Goodell continues the legacy of Bert Bell, Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue. He is negotiating with Comcast to make the NFL Network as part of the standard cable package. In exchange for this, he has offered the Red Zone Channel (previously only seen on the DirecTV package) to both FOX and CBS. Although TV at times seems to drive the NFL, I firmly believe that the NFL always has the leg up on the networks. Mr. Goodell by these negotiations is getting a heads up preparing for the future negotiations with the players association. By the way, the RZC is the perfect anecdote for today’s instant-gratification, ADD-laden coach potato.
William Franklin, aka the Helicopter was released this week from the Lions. He will apparently be signed by the Rams — the only team in the NFL with a worse receiving core than the Chiefs. I have heard rumors of using Tyler Thigpen as the wildcat next year and potentially even as a wideout. He certainly has the speed and toughness to be a wideout in the NFL. Think Hines Ward, another college QB who was never a flat-out burner.
Chase Patton was not offered a contract by the Chiefs. They cited his lack of playing experience and four young QBs on the roster (Cassel, Thigpen, Brodie Croyle and Ingle Martin) as their reason. Hopefully, other teams will seize the moment and sign him to their training camp roster.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend, Chiefs fans!!