One month ago today I wrote a post about how comparisons between Johnny Manziel and Hall of Fame QB Steve Young were not the compliment they might seem to be at first glance. I’ll give you the short version: Young was drafted by the Buccaneers where he struggled as a starter for two years due to his scrambling tendencies and a talent poor roster. Of course he was then traded to the 49ers where he would sit behind Joe Montana for a few seasons before going on to said Hall of Fame career.

Recently the Buccaneers have been linked to Manziel, possibly at the #7 pick should he fall to them. For Mike Glennon’s sake I’m hoping it’s a smokescreen, but after spending the day reading mock drafts and scouting reports on I’ve come to the realization that Mike Evans, who I’ve had as the Bucs no brainer pick at no. 7 could well be gone before they pick (specifically to Oakland at #5.) If Watkins and Evans are both gone it creates an interesting situation for the Bucs. Eric Ebron would be the best offensive weapon available, and while I like the fit, Ebron isn’t the top 10 lock that Evans is (in my opinion anyway.) There would likely be one of the big 3 OT available, but with the ink still drying on Anthony Collins’ deal and a deep class at tackle it feels like a luxury.

That brings us to Manziel. It’s possible that, like Jerry Rice, the Buccaneers view Manziel as a young, raw version of Steve Young and the number 7 pick as their re-do at a future hall of famer. With Josh McCown on board, and the coaching staff very much enamored with him, Manziel could take his rookie season to get his game up to NFL speed. (Something Tampa never had the chance to do with Young) While I don’t think Manziel would be too spend his rookie season on the sidelines, he can be convinced. After all, he’d be under the tutaledge of renowned QB whisper, Jeff Tedford, who seems to work wonders with mobile QBs with big arms (he’s the reason Kyle Boller went 19th in 2003 draft) Spending year one holding a clipboard and learning from a seasoned veteran in McCown and a QB guru in Tedford makes this the ideal situation for Manziel. And of course if Manziel ends up looking like the better QB by the time week 1 rolls around he could skip the waiting and start right away having won the job from a capable veteran.

The Buccaneers went out and spent money in free agency on young talent, Michael Johnson and Alteraun Verner helped round out a stout defensive unit that seems poised to shine under Lovie Smith’s leadership. And on the offensive side of the ball Donald Penn and Jeremy Zuttah were replaced by Anthony Collins, and Evan Dietrich-Smith. The running games is solid with Doug Martin leading the charge and Mike James and Bobby Rainey proving their merit last season when Martin was injured. The passing game needs work but there’s plenty of depth at WR, so I’d look for Tampa to add at least two pass catchers who can contribute right away. Allen Robinson or Davonte Adams could be intriguing second round options. In any case, the Bucs have the making of a very good team. If they believe in Johnny Manziel’s talent they might offer the best combination of young talent, veteran leadership and strong coaching to make Manziel a star.

But what about Mike Glennon? I have some ideas that I’ll be revealing in another post, but like I said Tedford seems to work best with mobile QB’s and it’s possible Glennon just doesn’t fit the system. They won’t get rid of him until there’s a clear replacement, and even then Glennon salary as a second year player taken in the third round would allow them to hold on to Glennon as insurance, McCown is 34 and there’s concerns about Manziel’s durability or until they get a trade offer they think is fair…but that’s a matter for another post.


After a week of gang ties, release and resigning the dust is settling around former Eagle turned Redskins’ WR DeSean Jackson. There is, however, still one very important question left to unanswered: What does this mean for my fantasy football team?

It’s no secret that the Redskins were a disaster on the field last season, and in an instance of fantasy imitating reality, any Redskin not named Pierre Garcon ended up with a disappointing season. Robert Griffin put up big numbers early, but was inconsistent and ended the year on the bench, and Alfred Morris had a solid statistical year finishing 14th among running backs, but after being touted as a top 10 back and likely first round pick, finishing behind Ryan Matthews and Fred Jackson was a tough pill to swallow for Morris owners (I should know, I was one of them.) The good news is, Morris and Griffin could live up to last year’s billing this year, at this year’s reduced rate.

The biggest winner here is Robert Griffin III. Rather than dealing with last year’s rag tag receiving corps RG3 now has 3 legitimate receivers, (yes, I consider Andre Roberts to be legitimate, but more on him later) who can all stretch the field, and more importantly do damage when the get the ball in space on screens and slants. Having to account for that much speed, especially if TE Jordan Reed can stay healthy, means fewer defenders focused on Griffin, so even if the defense manages to cover everyone up, he’ll be able to find space to scramble and gain some yards for himself. This, is not specific to the Jackson signing, but I also see Griffin taking a big step forward as a leader this season. I think the 2013 season was a sobering experience for the 2012 rookie of the year, from coming back too early from his injury, to sitting out the last few games of the season. Jay Gruden has already stated he expects a lot out of his QB, and I expect RG3 to take that as a personal challenge to continue improving, to take charge of, and responsibility for this offense. He has the weapons, he has the talent, and if he plays all 16 games RG3 could easily reclaim his place as a top 5 fantasy QB this year.

Pierre Garcon gets the runner up spot for biggest boost based on the signing. The bad news is, Garcon is unlikely to catch 113 passes again this year, but that’s a good thing. Garcon’s high catch numbers were the product of a stagnant offense that had to force the ball to it’s best receiver and Garcon’s yards per catch suffered as a result. Garcon will likely be closer to 80-90 catches on the season, but I still expect him to eclipse 1,000 yards and a more effective offense means more scoring chances and Garcon could conceivably improve on his 5 TDs from 2013. Bottom line: Garcon should replicate or improve upon his 2013 point total, but could be less consistent week to week. Watch the match-ups with better corners as Jackson’s presence could make him easy to ignore. Think of Garcon more like Jeremy Maclin playing alongside Jackson when he was healthy and less like AJ Green playing opposite Marvin Jones last year in Cincinnati.

DeSean Jackson comes out no worse for the wear. He was a beast in Chip Kelly’s offense last year, but even if he stayed in Philly he was never going to repeat his 2013 numbers. Like Garcon, Jackson benefitted from a higher than usual volume of targets in this case caused by an injury to Jeremy Maclin that would end his 2013 season before it began. Expect Jackson to go back to catching around 60 passes per year (instead of the 80 he caught in 2013) but he’ll make the most of those 60, and could reach the 1,000 yard plateau…just don’t expect another 9 touchdowns.

Andre Roberts is probably the only guy I would say is affected negatively by this trade. Before Jackson’s addition I was eyeing Roberts as a sleeper candidate with defenses giving all their attention to Pierre Garcon, but now barring an injury to either Jackson or Garcon it seems Roberts’ fantasy value will be limited. Don’t underestimate his team value though, especially if he ends up as the primary punt/kick returner (a position he held his first two seasons with the Cardinals before being replaced by Patrick Peterson.) Assuming the rest of the special teams unit actually decides to show up this year, that facet of the game should be much improved.

What about Alfred Morris you ask? Well, for him it’s a bit too soon to tell. Jackson’ addition is definitely good for the running game, (more defenders in coverage means fewer in the box) but just how good for Morris in particular? That will depend on how Gruden chooses to use Morris. The good news is, Jay Gruden’s offense runs the ball more than you think: BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried it 220 times last season, the bad news is that’s 50 fewer attempts than Morris had. But back to the good news, Morris averages a yard more per carry than Green-Ellis, and while Roy Helu could fill a Giovanni Bernard-type 3rd down/change of pace back role, Morris’ play could earn him more snaps, and he will get the majority of goal line and clock kill work. Keep an eye on what the Redskins do in the draft at the position and how reps are split in OTA’s, but Morris should be a strong RB2 with RB1 upside if he can crack double digit touchdowns like he did in his rookie season.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that any offensive success the Redskins could have this year, will have to be dependent on improved play from the offensive line. Jay Gruden is bringing in a lot of new guys as he switches from Mike Shanahan’s favored zone blocking scheme, to a power blocking scheme. They’ve brought it some decent talent, but I’m hoping they use at least a couple draft picks continuing to solidify what was a porous overall unit in 2013.

I’ll toss in one last disclaimer, since I’m predicting two 1,000 yard pass catchers to a team that finished 3-13 last season. I’m making my predictions based on everyone staying healthy and playing all 16 games at a level consistent with their past production, but the NFL makes no guarantees. If you’re still feeling unsure that the offensive line will hold up or that RG3 will make the necessary strides as a pocket passer might I suggest one week fantasy football leagues? It’s all of the fun without the commitment. Pick up a player when he’s hot and drop him when he’s not.

Johnny Manziel has seen his stock rise from a number of draft analysts following an impressive performance at Texas A&M’s pro day, and that has the media outlets buzzing about his potential. Specifically, Manziel has drawn what seems like high praise from two very respected names in the world of football. Former Head Coach and QB Guru Jon Gruden, and Hall of Fame Receiver Jerry Rice have both compared Manziel to hall of fame QB and Super Bowl champion Steve Young. Why do I say that only seems like high praise? Well, because they aren’t comparing Manziel to the finished product, but rather the fresh out of BYU brimming with potential Steve Young who saw his professional career begin in the USFL, before being picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a supplemental draft. It always seems to be lost in the legend, at least to the casual fan, but Steve Young was not an overnight success. Young had a record of 3-16 as a starter in two years with a struggling Buccaneers squad before being traded to the 49ers where he would serve as Joe Montana’s back-up for a few years before claiming the starting job.

For what it’s worth I think the comparisons are accurate. Manziel is a few inches shorter shorter than Young, but both were considered undersized and used their legs to get out of trouble often. Young didn’t become a truly great QB until he learned to throw from the pocket, and it’s no secret that Manziel will have to do the same. There is a lot of potential and raw talent in Manziel, but the trouble with any team drafting him in the first round, particularly in the top 10 is that there will be pressure to start him right away and that could be a mistake. Teams need to be willing to take the Aaron Rodgers approach to Manziel, let him learn from the sideline for a bit. Or, if the talent is just too tantalizing, at least settle for a Russell Wilson approach, let him come in and compete for a job, just don’t feel pressure to make him the day one starter if he’s not coming along as quickly as you hoped.

The NFL is littered with draft picks who were rushed into a bad situation and suffered because of it. The Jaguars Blaine Gabbert serves as the most recent glaring example. Gabbert had all the physical tools to succeed, but coming from a spread offense had trouble picking up blitzes. Given a year on the sidelines to study and adjust he may have learned enough to protect himself. Instead he was rushed into the starting line-up and a porous O-Line mixed with a tendency to hold on to the ball too long lead to sack after sack. Gabbert never looked comfortable in the pocket after that…something the 49ers are hoping to fix this season after acquiring the passer for a late round pick.

In short, if Manziel really is the next coming of Steve Young it’s not the Jaguars, Texans, or Browns that should be looking at him, but rather the Saints, Patriots and Manziel’s childhood favorite team the Cowboys that should be looking to Manziel as a Superstar to be groomed behind an aging franchise QB.

Forgive me for the awkward title, but it’s got to be the question on a lot of fans minds after an odd start to free agency for Oakland. If you haven’t been following along the Raiders seemed to make little effort to retain two of their young talents in LT Jared Veldheer and DE Lamarr Houston, both immediately became top free agents at their positions and signed quickly (Veldheer with the Cardinals and Houston with the Bears.) While it seems odd that Oakland didn’t even seem all that interested in negotiating with these players, despite having an abundance of cap space, I wouldn’t be surprised to find negotiations stalled because the players or more accurately their agents sought bigger contracts from the Raiders because of the franchises instability and aforementioned cap space (reminder: this is pure speculation on my part.)

What happened next was baffling, as the Raiders quickly signed Rams versatile lineman Roger Saffold to a big 5 year deal. Maybe the Raiders thought Saffold’s versatility to play inside at guard or outside at tackle was worth the money? They do have the 5th pick in this year’s draft, and Saffold would allow them to take a QB if the right one fell to them without prohibiting them from taking a tackle if an early run on QB’s took their guy off the board. but ultimately it wouldn’t matter as Saffold failed his physical and the contract was voided. (Saffold quickly resigned with the Rams.) In the end the Raiders saved money, and are in good position to land either Greg Robinson or Jake Matthews at #5 if they choose to draft Veldheer’s replacement. Both prospects are touted as future franchise stars at the position, so maybe this was all just some clever ruse to distract people from the need at QB and land a player more suited to the 5th spot in the draft than a QB who could end up as a reach, playing for a team with limited weapons.

On the defensive side of the ball the Raiders at least seem to be faring better. It always seemed that Lamar Houston would be allowed to test the market (unlike Veldheer, Houston made no proclamation that he wanted to be a Raider for life.) Oakland was prepared to lose him and it has shown. The Raider’s quickly set up visits with Justin Tuck and Lamar Woodley, both former feature players in feared defenses coming off bad years. The signing of former pro-bowlers near the end of their careers generally doesn’t pay off, but I think at least from a leadership standpoint this move made a lot of sense. Tuck and Woodley both come from winning programs and can hopefully bring some swagger to a locker room of mostly younger guys who have had to deal with a lot of defeat. Hopefully their winning attitude translates to the field.

I think this also helps explain the signings of Tarell Brown and Antonio Smith. I should clarify that I’m not trying to reduce the impact that these players can have on the field, but I think specifically these players can help change the attitude in the Raiders locker, as well as the product they put on the field. Tarell Brown was drafted to the 49ers in the midst of their Head Coach carousel, he was a 5th round draft pick who worked his way up from a small time contributor on a 5-11 team in 2007 to a starter on a team that has lost 11 regular season games in the past 3 years combined. Smith contributed to a similar turnaround with the Houston Texans after joining the team in 2009. In short I think Oakland has done a good job selecting the right players to fill holes on their defense, even if does add a few years to the team’s average age.

I suppose what’s curious in this is that Reggie McKenzie is signing an awful of veterans to a team that isn’t expected to compete any time soon in the AFC West. While you never know what can happen during the course of the season the Raiders were the only AFC West team to miss the playoffs last season, and the Broncos don’t look ready to give up their hold on the division just yet and the Chiefs still loom as the #2, so why spend money to compete for 3rd place at best? Well, because he wants to keep his job. Mark Davis basically issued an ultimatum to stop making excuses and start winning, but that’s easier said than done. So, I it seems McKenzie’s strategy has been to bring in media friendly names like Justin Tuck and Lamar Woodley, while plugging in Tarell Brown and Antonio Smith for the more avid fan. Next up is a strong draft class where he hopes to be commended for trading out of the #5 spot to gather picks and plug holes while still managing to get a promising young signal caller, similar to what the Bills did last year trading out of #8 and still landing their guy in EJ Manuel as well as hitting on Kiko Alonso and Robert Woods in day 2 of the draft.

I’m not going to predict anything wild for the Raiders, but I do think they’ll be improved. McKenzie is betting on his free agent acquisitions to start a culture change and shift the thinking of players in the locker room. He let two young players looking for big paydays get their money elsewhere and brought in veterans who have something to prove. It’s a gamble, betting on aging superstars reclaiming form, but they might just strike the right balance of youth and experience to make some noise in 2014.

First a disclaimer, I get most of my information from and my mock is based off reading there analysts mocks and adjusting to what I think a team will (or should) do with their first round pick.

UPDATE 4/12/14: With the combine down, and free agency underway I’m making some changes to my top 10.

1. Texans select DE Jadaveon Clowney
Maybe it’s just a smokescreen, or media fabrication, but it seems like no one in the Texans organization has anything bad to say about Clowney, including the team’s owner. Clowney’s got a ready made support system, and the Texans have a hole to fill opposite J.J. Watt. They could use upgrades along the offensive line, but I’m inclined to agree with Bill O’Brien on the QB’s in this year’s class; there just isn’t enough separation between the guys you can get at No. 1 and No. 33 to justify passing on a top defender.

2. Rams select OT Greg Robinson
Ultimately the Rams could trade out of this pick, but it seems like most teams are trying to move back this year, not up. If the Rams do make their pick Robinson can be a big bodied bookend to pair with Jake Long, and eventually take over on the left side, much like last year’s top picks Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel.

3. Jaguars select OLB Khalil Mack
Mack’s draft stock has exploded during this offseason and I think he finds his home in Jacksonville. Jacksonville isn’t ready to support a franchise QB and taking one at #3 is setting them up to fail. WR Sammy Watkins has made a pretty strong case for himself, but ultimately Gus Bradley is defense guy and I think the Jags look to lock up their primary pass rusher here, and add a QB and WR in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

4. Browns select WR Sammy Watkins
Josh Gordon had a breakout season, but let’s not forget that it started with a 2 game suspension, and the Browns are thin at WR behind the former Baylor star. Pairing Watkins with Gordon on the outside, newly signed Andrew Hawkins in the slot and Jordan Cameron at TE would give the Browns one of the more fearsome aerial arsenal’s in the league. Which is good because new Brown’s OC Kyle Shanahan loves to pass.

5. Raiders select OLB/DE Anthony Barr
The Raiders wanted to put themselves in position to take the best player and I think Barr is it. There are still some questions about what his best positional fit is, as he’s currently a little light to play at DE and struggles a bit in pass protection for a true OLB. But, I think he can be used effectively as a situational pass rusher during his rookie campaign while adding some weight and learning to play better in coverage and against the run. This is essentially the same strategy used by the 49ers when they drafted Aldon Smith, and that seems to have worked out.

6. Falcons select OT Jake Matthews
After last season’s offensive collapse item number 1 on the Falcons agenda has to be better protection for Matt Ryan. Matthews is an elite tackle prospect who can play on either the left or right side of the line depending upon what Atlanta wants to do with current left tackle Sam Baker.

7. Buccaneers select WR Mike Evans
Mike Williams is on a short leash with the new coach staff, and he’s also coming back from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss most of last season. Vincent Jackson posted his 3rd consecutive 1,000+ yard season (the past 2 in Tampa) but he’s 31 years old, and saw his production dip last season. Evans would be able to learn the game from someone with a similar skill set in Jackson, and eventually take over his role as the team’s #1 option.

8. Vikings select DT Timmy Jernigan
With Barr and Mack off the board I think the Vikings continue their youth movement along the defensive line, pairing the former Seminole with Shariff Floyd and Everson Griffin. Jernigan is a bit undersized, but that’s never been a problem for Mike Zimmer before. Jernigan is strong, has a good motor and plays well against the run. He’s also proven versatile after playing all over in both 3 and 4 man fronts at Florida State. Inside linebacker CJ Mosely could also be in play here, but there are some injury concerns that might make him too risky to take this high. Cornerback is deep enough to wait on after signing Captain Munnerlynn, and with no QB’s off the board I’m not convinced the Vikings will be the first to blink.

9. Bills select S Haha Clinton-Dix
With Jarius Byrd gone and the in-house replacements a bit scarce the Bills opt for the Alabama standout safety to sure up the back end. I still like Eric Ebron’s talent, but I’m still not convinced he’s earned a top 10 pick, and while the argument for LT Taylor Lewan is compelling on paper Cordy Glenn has proven more than capable holding down that job, and sliding him to RT hardly feels like a just reward for the player most analysts had pegged as a guard at the NFL level.

10. Lions select CB Justin Gilbert
Cornerback has been a position of need for awhile. I think Mike Evans could still be in play, but it looks like they’ll have to trade up to grab him. If the Lions do decide to stay put at #10 Gilbert could go a long way towards helping the Lions shut down the high powered aerial attacks of their NFC North rivals.

“I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you going to get.” Those are the now infamous word of Richard Sherman from his on field interview in the few seconds following the Seahawks NFC Championship win over the 49ers. Sherman took a lot of heat from fans who called him a thug, an embarrassment and much worse in the immediate aftermath of the statement. Shortly after the initial outburst, journalists ran to Sherman’s defense claiming that Sherman is to be lauded for making it out of Compton and into the NFL via Stanford University, blaming the backlash on his lower-class upbringing and his race, but that doesn’t quite seem right to me.

I’ll start by saying that I don’t have any problem with what Sherman said, and the fact that it’s become such a huge story is a little ridiculous. But with that said, anyone who has ever watched a post game interview before should not be shocked that Sherman faced criticism for his comments. When a player is being interviewed on the field after the game there is essentially a script they are meant to follow. When being asked about a big play you are supposed to applaud the effort of your opponent and your teammate who was actually able to come down with the interception while claiming that you were simply thankful to be in position to make a play. Instead, Sherman brought the full focus to himself and insulted his opponent. It was a genuine emotional response, when protocol dictated that he give a more robotic response. As the saying goes, ‘act like you been there before.’

Now, the other side of this is, if you’ve ever heard an interview with Richard Sherman you shouldn’t be surprised. Sherman doesn’t hide his emotion, he doesn’t go for humble. He’s worked incredibly hard to get where he is and he wants you to know he isn’t going anywhere. In a league that strives for sameness (they fine players for wearing their socks incorrectly or changing the color of their shoes) Sherman is not afraid to stand out, and some people are not going to like that. Sherman knows this and he doesn’t care, in the pass happy QB friendly NFL this is how you get noticed.

Maybe I’m naive to think Sherman’s race and background are irrelevant to the negative response he received, but I can’t imagine the reaction would have been all that much different if after the Broncos AFC Championship win over the Patriots, Peyton Manning proclaimed that he was the best quarterback in football and that any time he was up against a sorry defense like New England that would always be the result. Now, of course it’s difficult to imagine Peyton Manning saying that, especially seeing as his record was 4-10 against New England before Sunday’s match-up, but if he did I’m sure a lot of the same people would have taken to twitter calling him an ignorant hillbilly and a disgrace to his father’s legacy. Like I said I could be wrong, but I really hope not.

The bottom line is Richard Sherman made an emotional statement after an emotional win. He’s not lying when he says he’s the best corner in the game and if I were an NFL GM I’d give up multiple first round picks to get him on my team. He plays his heart out and he absolutely loves the game of football.

When Alex Smith was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2013 2nd round pick and a conditional pick in 2014 there were plenty of fans who said the price was too high for Smith, who could have presumably ended up a cap casualty for the 49ers, but with the regular season ready to get underway the Chiefs seem to have gotten a steal. The Chiefs went from the worst record in the NFL in 2012 to a trendy dark horse playoff pick that could challenge the Broncos (especially following the loss of Elvis Dumervil and suspension of Von Miller) for the AFC West title. The interesting thing is that Smith could have had a similar effect on several of the other teams he who were rumored to be interested in the former number 1 overall draft pick.

We’ll start with the Vikings who find themselves in the usual position of being an afterthought in the NFC North, even after earning a playoff berth in 2012. I understand, Percy Harvin is gone, and Adrian Peterson had one of the best season’s for a running back in the history of the game (a feat made only more impressive by his recent return from an ACL injury and the prevalence of pass heavy offenses in the modern NFL.) But just think if Alex Smith were under center this season instead of Christian Ponder. Immediately people are talking about how great it is that Ponder will finally have a mentor and the Vikes jump immediately into the conversation as a team that can really challenge the Packers in the North. The defense probably starts to earn more credit and the Kyle Rudolph hype train would go out of control. The Vikings have a better offensive line than the Bears, a better running back and with Smith they would have at least a more consistent QB. Not to mention we get to have Alex Smith vs. Aaron Rodgers twice a year in a battle of the ’05 draft’s top QBs.

Next we’ll move over to New York and the Jets. Okay, so this one isn’t really fair. The Jets are a mess and didn’t have the money to pay two QB $8 million in the same year, but it certainly would have settled the controversy and maybe, just maybe allowed Rex Ryan to keep from losing his cool in front of the media. Unfortunately for the Jets, Smith probably doesn’t make them playoff contenders. There is some talent on the offensive side of the ball, Chris Ivory holds a lot of potential, but Stephen Hill entering his second year suddenly becomes a much more intriguing player, and Smith probably also gets the best out of Jeremy Kerley in the slot. The AFC East seems pretty wide open this year so maybe with Miami losing Keller for the year and the Bills breaking in a rookie QB you could say the Jets would finish in 2nd in the division without people laughing at you.

The Jaguars find themselves in a similar situation. You have a lot of talent with an improved offensive line a healthy MJD, the emergence of Cecil Shorts and 12 games of Justin Blackmon with Ace Sanders and Denard Robinson as speedy x-factors, so having a guy in Alex Smith who could consistently get the ball in the hands of your playmakers makes anything seem possible, but honestly it wouldn’t even come close to putting them ahead of the Texans and Colts. Still, I have to think the fans of the Jaguars would feel a lot better about the season with Smith under center than Blaine Gabbert or Chad Henne.

The Cleveland Browns actually seem to have made out the best without Smith. Brandon Weeden has looked good running Norv Turner’s offense and there’s some cautious optimism surrounding the team. Considering the Browns still play in the same division as the Ravens, Bengals and Steelers that’s about all they could have hoped for from getting Smith under center as well.

I guess you can also call the Cardinals ‘winners’ in the succeeding without Alex Smith game. Carson Palmer fits Bruce Arians attack better, so had the Cardinals ended up with Smith there would have been constant questions surrounding his arm strength, and while Smith is clearly the better QB, the offensive line and running game are much bigger issues for Arizona in 2013.

I don’t know if he was even rumored to be connected to either of these teams, but I also think Smith could have had a big impact on the perception of the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans. Of course if Buffalo surrendered it’s second round pick they would have missed out on Robert Woods, who I believe could be in for a big year. But for arguments sake, let’s say they gave up a 2014 first rounder instead so they can keep their whole draft class. Again you get Smith in a mentor role to a QB in EJ Manuel many thought would need time to develop. You also give Smith the two things he works best with, a good running game, and a West Coast offense. With Smith at the helm it;s likely the Bills and not the Dolphins who are being talked about as the biggest threat to the Patriots in the AFC East. The Titans I’m sure never really considered it, but they have a lot of talent at WR, a good looking run game and one of Alex’s favorite targets in TE Delanie Walker.