QB talk & more @ NFLRT 10/21

 

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QB talk & more…

Welcome back to the NFL Round Table where this week’s topic is about some prime time QB guys.

Plus, how about them Falcons and Vikings?  The NFL crew offers their opinions on both teams chances for being in the playoffs and how far they can go this season.

1) According to ESPN.com… “The San Francisco 49ers and Colin Kaepernick have signed a restructuring of the quarterback’s contract, wiping out the final four years and turning it into a two-year deal with a player option for the second year.”

Who makes out the best in this deal… the player or the team? Why?

Dan: I think Kaepernick comes out on top of this. Why, you ask, after the 49ers cut his deal by two years? Well, there’s two reasons.colin-kaepernick

The first is because it has a player option in it. If, he wants to stay on the team, he can. It’s completely up to him.

The second reason is because it lets Kaepernick play the rest of this season and prove that he’s worth the contract he wants. Maybe he doesn’t like playing for Kelly. Maybe he wants a different atmosphere. Who knows, but, it allows him to get more money based on his play.

The reason he wins is because the it all falls on him. A player option – completely his decision. A bigger contract? All on him. He’s not locked in for four years, regardless, if he plays terrible or goes back to his original form that we saw when San Francisco was making a push towards the Super Bowl.

Earl: It’s a good deal for both sides. The Niners get out of the long term ramifications of Colin’s contract, and Colin is now auditioning for his next team.

The Niners clearly don’t want the guy around, despite his teammates loving him, and this deal moves them closer to the inevitable divorce.

Jim: It’s good for both.

It’s his option, so that’s very good for him.  And, it’s good for the team because it shortens their commitment.

He was given a shot Sunday and didn’t suck.  His team did.  You can’t really blame a quarterback for the other team scoring 45 points.

Joe: Both…

kaepThe 49ers seem to not really want Kaepernick but at the same time still keep him around. It was apparent during the off-season they were fielding offers for the guy but never seemed able to pull the trigger on a deal. Which, to me, means they were either overvaluing him or really didn’t want to let him go because they weren’t really settled at the QB position. I tend to believe it was a combination of both but lean heavily to the second option. However, with this new deal they get to keep him on what will most likely be a one year deal (more on that in a bit) while they try to solidify and finalize the QB spot on the team.

Kaepernick now has the freedom he has always wanted all along to negotiate a new deal with any team that may want his services. Which means, I think there is no way in hell he does not trigger his option on the second year of this new deal and becomes a free agent in the offseason.

Both parties get what they wanted all the time … The 49ers keep him for a year and Kaepernick now sees a light at the end of the tunnel and gets to move on from the 49ers. The only way Kaepernick is a 49er next season is if he firmly believes there is no chance in hell someone will signs him to a new, and agreeable to his liking, deal, or, he steps into the QB void in 49er land and the 49ers come at him with a deal that just blows him away. And, for that to happen… the 49ers to offer him that type of a deal… Kaepernick will have to be the second coming of Tom Brady. And, that is not happening.  a

2) Tony Romo has not been fully healthy since the 2013 and 2014. He played in 5 games in 2015 and has yet to play this year due to a fracture in his neck.  His career has been pockmarked with various injuries including 3 fractured collarbones. The Cowboys have been in the playoffs only four times in Romo’s career with only two playoff wins (the only two since 1996 for the Cowboys). To be fair, it’s not entirely his fault, it’s been more or less a team effort.  Now, he is about to come off the injured reserve list with his replacement Dak Prescott playing very well and while leading the Cowboys to a 5-1 start.

The question… Do you bench Prescott and start Romo or let Prescott play? 

Dan: You keep Romo on the bench. Prescott yet to has 1 INT; has beaten some good teams and has played incredible so far. Honestly, with how he’s playing, I would argue that he’s doing a better job than how Romo would be performing, and, Prescott has been doing this with a rookie RB (although he’s an amazing player); without an injured Dez Bryant and behind a great line.

Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott

They have a great system going right now and it’d be wrong to completely ruin their momentum by taking out a QB who’s playing better than a lot of starting QBs in the league for an oft-injured player who hasn’t proven to get it done in crunch time. I see no reason to put Prescott on the bench, so, leave him.

Earl: I would let Dak play. He’s been great so far, and, the Cowboys are putting him in a position to succeed with their play calling.

He may eventually look like a rookie, and, it would be unfair for Tony to lose the job due to injury, but, I wouldn’t mess with a good thing. And, right now, the Cowboys have a good thing going with Dak’s steady play and the reliance of Ezekiel Elliott in the run game.

Jim:  If they start Tony Romo this season, they’ll be the laughing stock of the NFL.  Hey, the new Drew Bledsoe! Well, Bledsoe was actually good.  But still, same point.

Tony Romo (left) & Dak Prescott
Tony Romo (left) & Dak Prescott

Your days in Dallas are over Mr. Romo.  Don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out the door.

Joe: Let’s make this real damn simple… between the time Romo is officially off the DL  and activated, if  Prescott has yet to crap the bed then Prescott should remain as the starter.

Do I think that happens? Not really. I expect Romo to be be back at QB for the Cowboys as soon as he is activated.

Although, latest news from Cowboy land is that they will give Romo as much time as he needs to recover and won’t activate him until they feel is fully ready to take snaps in real game action… or.. until Prescott begins to stink up the sheets in the bed.

3) Pick the winner… Patriots or Steelers? Why?

Dan: While this is likely going to be the AFC Championship Game preview, this game has lost a lot of it’s intrigue due to injuries to Pittsburgh’s two captains… QB Ben Roethlisberger and DE Cam Heyward. Those are two huge losses.

Big Ben gone really takes a toll on offense and now you have to run a back-up QB out there to try and compete against the great New England Patriots. Then,, Heyward is going to miss his second straight game, which is huge. They have a lot more flexibility on defense when he’s there, especially with pass rushes. He commands a double team as well. That’s a huge loss, especially when the only way you can beat the Patriots is if you slow down their offense.

If Ryan Tannehill can run through the Steelers’ D without Heyward, the Patriots are going to stop the offense and I think they’ll easily be able to throw all over on Sunday.

34-17… Patriots win.

Earl: Patriots. Tom Brady is a man on a mission and Roethlisberger will likely not be playing this Sunday.steelers-patriots-football_

Hell, even if Big Ben was playing, I would pick the Patriots. Every time Brady has played with a chip on his shoulder, he has played out of this World. Would be hard to go against him.

Jim: Patriots.  Because the Patriots are good.

Sure seems like a ridiculous question.  Who in their right mind would pick the Steelers?

Joe: When this question was posed it was assumed Big Ben would be playing for the Steelers. He is not. With that in mind I expect the Pats to romp to at least a 2 TD win.

Before that, I would have said the Pats would have beaten the Steelers by maybe 7 points.

Why? Simply put… in both circumstances… Brady is on a mission after coming off his suspension.

4) Are you surprised by the Atlanta Falcons start this year? Is it sustainable enough to get them into the playoffs for the first time since 2012?

Dan: While, I’m surprised the Falcons did what they did against Carolina, I’m not surprised they are off to such a hot start. I knew that they would be able to get their team moving and win a couple early games due to their offense, but, I just didn’t think the Panthers would be this bad.

With how the rest of the division is looking (Saints have a great offense but have no D), I think Atlanta is going to make the playoffs by way of winning their division.falcons2

Earl: For a few seasons now I have picked Atlanta to win the NFC South, only for them to disappoint me. On paper they have the talent but they had not put it together. Until now.

Despite losing a tough one to the Seahawks, they are the class of the division. They have the offense and they do just enough on defense to win. With the Saints treading water and the Bucs and Panthers suffering, they should win the South with ease.

Jim: Not surprised at all.  They’re a good team with a good quarterback and a world class wide receiver.  Plus, one of the best defensive minds in the NFL as their head coach.

Then add in they play in the NFC South, where “average” wins the division and you’ve got a recipe for success.

Joe: Yep… I am.

And, only because they are in the NFC South will I go on record as saying it is sustainable, and, if, they can maintain their present pace should be in first n a walk in that division by seasons end and have punched their ticket into the playoffs.

5) The Vikings have played in four Super Bowls and lost them all. This season they have gotten off to a 5-0 start. Is this the year they make it to the Super Bowl and then actually win it?

Dan: Right now, I do think they will take the NFC. Only reason that changes will be because they cool off and their D starts to show what can be exposed in order to beat them. Also, I personally don’t think Sam Bradford will play at this level all season. But, at this rate, the Vikings will make the Super Bowl representing the NFC.NFL: Preseason-Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings

Do I think they can win? Well, as of now, their odds are for them. They’ll likely have to face either Pittsburgh or New England.

Pittsburgh will be tough to stop but showed they can be and that their D can be beat.

The Patriots exposed themselves against Buffalo, but, I think their offense is just too dangerous and will cause a serious threat for Minnesota. Personally, I think, at this point in time, Minnesota will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, but, New England will top them.

Come back the week of the start of the playoffs and I might have a completely different tune.  

Earl: They look good. I can’t deny that.

Can they go all the way?
Can they go all the way?

Sam Bradford was what they needed. A steady hand at QB and their defense is solid. I’m not sure they make the Super Bowl, but, the NFC is so wide open that they might just do it.

Will they win it? Not if they run into the Patriots. Nobody is stopping the Pats.

Jim: Come on now.  They are still the Vikings, right?

No, they will neither make the Super Bowl nor win it.

Joe: I think they make the playoffs. And, they even might win their first playoff game.

But… that’s as far as it probably goes.

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