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OUT OF BOUNDS:Brady Injured, Chad Johnson Sidelined, R.I.P. Gene Upshaw

Things are starting to heat up as we get closer to the start of the 2008-09 NFL season.  Here’s a few notes form this week:

 

Injuries Galore

For you New England Patriots fans out there, QB Tom Brady is suffering a foot injury again. The injury is on the same leg that he suffered a right ankle sprain in the AFC Championship Game last season, but it’s a different type of injury.

 

Of course, we have no idea what the injury is because Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick, won’t reveal what the injury is to the media. Neither will Brady’s teammates. I guess Belichick has everyone on the team drinking the same Kool-Aid. They last time a group of people were in synch like that, it ended with the Jonestown Massacre.

 

It looks as though Brady will not play for the remainder of the preseason in preparation for the Pats’ home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

 

Minnesota Vikings QB Tavaris Jackson suffered a sprained MCL last Saturday in a 23-15 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. ESPN is reporting that Vikes Head Coach, Brad Childress, will most likely hold Jackson out for the remainder of the pre-season in preparation for the Vikes season opener at against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football.

 

Cincinnati Bengals WR Chad Johnson suffered a sprained shoulder in last Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions.  With Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (hamstring) out as well, the Bengals went outside for help, hence…

 

Home is where the Heart is

The Bengals resigned WR Chris Henry four months after they released him.  In an effort to clean up the Bengals image, Henry, who has had multiple run-ins with the law, was one of many players who were cut from the team because of their off-field problems.

 

Henry won’t be available to play until Week 5 of the regular season because he’s serving a 4-game suspension for violating the league’s conduct policy.  

 

Now Henry has been given a “do-over”.  Hopefully he read the write-up from the beginning of the month and makes the most of his “do-over” as well. 

 

Speaking of players finding jobs, we can’t forget those who are unemployed.  So on that note…

 

Joe Horn released by the Falcons

In an effort to rebuild their team from the embarrassment of the Michael Vick situation and the departure of Bobby Petrino, the Atlanta Falcons released disgruntled WR Joe Horn this week. Horn, who joined the Falcons last season after he was cut from the New Orleans Saints, joined the team with the hopes of playing with Vick.

 

Horn had one of his worst statistical seasons with the Falcons last year.  Horn recorded 27 passes for 243 yards and one touchdown.  Mind you, they signed him to a four-year, $14.5 million deal last season.  So after one year, he breaks out. 

 

In a statement to the Associated Press, Horn said,

 

“It’s a sense of sadness because after every game last year and after the first two preseason games I had to look at Mr. Blank and know that he deserves a winning team and he deserves a championship. I was here and couldn’t make it happen. It’s kind of sad for me leaving.”

 

Then why leave?  You signed a four deal; honor it through the good and the bad.  So when you look at it, you pulled a Bobby Petrino and did the dip on the Falcons instead of fighting through it with your teammates.  Hey, whatever works? 

 

The problem with that is this; Horn will find a team. He’ll have a job at some point this season.  The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not he’ll do the dip on the next team he signs with when the sh*t gets deep.  Everybody was throwing Chad Johnson under the bus when he wanted out of Cinncy, what makes Horn’s situation any different? 

 

Hold-out Situations

Back in April when I covered the NFL Draft for the site, St. Louis Rams RB, Steven Jackson, had some advice for the rookies. 

 

“Don’t worry about the money, worry about getting that starting role on the team.  Once you get that role, the money comes to you. Focus on the game and it will payoff in the end

 

Jackson has focused on the game for his entire career and it has paid off this week.  Jackson ended a 27-day hold out with the Rams this week by signing a new six-year contract. 

 

It’s a two-tier contract (I have no idea how that works; I’m not a sports agent).  Here’s ESPN.com’s explanation of the deal:

 

Jackson agreed to a two-tiered deal with the Rams. It’s either a three-year extension worth $29.3 million with $21 million guaranteed, or a five-year, $49.3 million contract that includes huge escalators in Years 4 and 5, a source told ESPN.com’s John Clayton.

The way the contract works is that it is structurally a five-year deal lasting until 2013. The final two years can be voided based on Jackson’s performance, but his performance can also trigger the escalators to take the five-year deal to $49.3 million.

Though a breakdown of the triggers of the deal isn’t fully known, a source told ESPN.com that Jackson has to perform similarly the next three seasons to the numbers he put up from 2005 through 2007 to fulfill the escalators.

Okay, now it makes sense.  I think.

 

Boldin wants out of Arizona

Arizona Cardinals WR, Anquan Boldin wants out. 

 

Boldin signed a four-year, $22.75 million extension after the 2005 season.  He’s in the 3rd year of that contract and claims that the Cards offered to re-negotiate his contract, only to renege on the offer.

 

His teammate and fellow wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, signed a four-year, 40 million dollar deal last season, but Boldin is cool with that.  He believes the Fitzgerald earned that.

 

He also claims that there was no relationship between himself and Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt and that he isn’t speaking to the coach.  Whisenhunt’s reply was, “We’ve been communicating. If communicating is talking, that’s what we have been doing at practice. As we go forward, I don’t know. I don’t foresee anything changing. If it does, it’s in his court.”

 

Who needs All My Children when you got drama at the training camps?  Gotta love it!!!

 

ALLHipHop Pick’em League

I asked, yall answered, so it’s on!!! The ALLHipHop Pick’em League is up and running.  The rules are simple:

 

No Confidence Points

No Spreads

Straight up.  You’re picking the winners of the games and that’s it

Use common sense when picking your games

You can make you picks anytime before the kickoff of the 1st game of the week, but if you’re running late, you have 5 minutes til kick off to make your selection

Have Fun and talking sh*t is allowed.  As long as it’s not offensive.  We’re here to have fun.

 

If you want to get down, the league is set up in the Yahoo Fantasy Sports section.  Just click the link, click on the button that says “Join a Group” and enter the League ID# (35488) and the pass word (cheapseats). LET’S GET IT ON!!!!!

 

The Passing of a NFL Great: Gene Upshaw (August 15, 1945 – August 21, 2008)

On a sad note, Hall of Fame Guard for the Oakland Raiders and Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, Gene Upshaw, passed away this week at the age of 63 from pancreatic cancer. He just learned word of his illness on Sunday, August 17, 2008.

 

Upshaw had two sides to him; the player side and executive side; and was able to combine the two sides when came to protecting the players in the union.  It took a player, to relate to the players, and get the players the best deal or deals possible.

 

The average players’ salaries jumped from $120,000 to $1.6 million under Upshaw’s tenure as Executive Director of the NFLPA.  He introduced free agency to the league, guaranteed percentage gross in revenue for the players, increased minimum salaries for players and increased the pensions for active and non-active players by 40%. 

 

Upshaw caught a lot of heat in the latter years of his tenure with retired players about retirement and disability benefits, but his overall body of work as the Head of the NFLPA speaks for itself. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said Gene Upshaw is “among the top five most influential figures in the [NFL]“.  When you take his body of work as a player and combine that with the waves he made as the Head of the NFLPA, it’s hard to argue that.

 

Gene Upshaw, the Player

 

 

Gene Upshaw, the Executive

Our Condolences to the Upshaw Family.

 You can always check out new and past posts on the Out of Bounds blog at: http://outofbounds-therowdyone.blogspot.com/

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