NFL in China & other NFL news & views @ NFLRT 6/23

Titans stack the deck by signing Decker, the Bucs rebuild offense and Brady wants to play a game in China… the crew talks about all this and more in this week’s NFLRT…

1) The Titans and former Jets’ WR Eric Decker have reached agreement on a one-year deal. Decker, 30, underwent hip and shoulder surgeries last fall, but he is healthy and had been practicing with the Jets before they released him. 

Is this a good move by the Titans or a so-so move and why?

Chad: Great weapon, he’s another weapon for Mariota to use in this offense and somebody that can help 1st round pick Corey Davis at the WR position for the Titans this year.

Dan: Yes, this was a good move. I think he still has a couple years left in the tank and he can fit the Titans and what they’re trying to do very well. He gives them a necessary weapon for Mariota as well as a viable contributor on offense to help improve their chances to compete in the AFC South. Plus, it’s only a one-year deal so it’s a low-risk, high-reward move.

David: Why the F*** was the Panthers not on the phone with this guy? Decker is a solid WR if he’s on the ground, and if not, it’s a one-year tryout deal. Marcus is going to love this dude running around.

Joe: Hell, yeah. If, healthy this gives QB Mariota another very capable and sure handed target in his arsenal. Plus, Decker knows how to elude tacklers and run after he catches the damn ball.

As a Jet fan, Decker was one of my favorite players and when he was healthy he was one of the Jets’ best players as well as one of  their most dependable players. Titan got a good player and didn’t break the bank doing it.

2) Tom Brady was in China on Father’s Day and said “My dream is to play a game here in China someday. We had an opportunity, I think, 10 years ago, and my team was going to play here, and unfortunately it didn’t work out. But one day I hope that there are many games here, and over the course of a year, because it’s such a great sport and because I love it so much, to bring that here and to bring the discipline and incredible strategy involved.” 

Will the NFL ever play games in China? Why or why not? 

Tom Brady wants to play NFL game in China

Chad: Eventually I could see it happen as Goodell is wanting to grow the game outside of the US as proven by games in England and Mexico this season.

Dan: I think they will play a pre-season game over there, but I don’t think it’s very reasonable to play regular season games over in China. The time difference is rather noticeable and it’s going to take a toll on players especially if it’s multiple games during the season. If, they play a Sunday in China, then have to play next Sunday, you’ll certainly notice the lag in their step the Sunday after China. I think it’d be cool to have a pre-season game over there. But there’s not a realistic chance, in my opinion, that a regular season game be played over there, especially with more and more health safety and player’s rest being a heavy focal point. of the NFL.

David: Eventually, Robots will play NFL games on the moon.

Will Brady play a game that matters in China? Heck no. I can see a pre-season game, maybe on the same week as the Hall of Fame game.

Joe: Probably, eventually the NFL will play an exhibition game in China. But I gotta ask: WHY?

3) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had two clear goals this offseason: get more speed on offense and get more physical on defense. 

In your opinion, did they accomplish their goals and in what way did they do it or not do it? 

Bucs add Desean Jackson, OJ Howard & Chris Godwin

Chad: I think they’re goals on Offense were definitely for the better adding Desean through free agency and OJ Howard and Chris Godwin through the draft.  Plus, I think signing JJ Wilcox helps on Defense as well.

Dan: I think they got faster on offense with the addition of OJ Howard at tight end in the draft as well as signing DeSean Jackson on offense to pair with Mike Evans and can add tremendous speed. The offensive goal was completed, in my opinion. I don’t think they got more physical on defense but were able to retain free agents at positions of need. I don’t think they fit their goal of getting more physical on defense, but they did get better as an overall team in my opinion.

David: Just going to have to wait for the NFL Season Previews, now won’t you?

Joe: On paper? Between the draft and free agent signings? Mission accomplished.

Now, lets see if everything plays out like they are hoping.

4) Assuming they make no more changes that adds payroll, the Jets will have $80 million in cap space as they go into the 2018/2019 season.

How much faith do you have that they can use that money to begin a successful rebuild of the team that can not only make the playoffs but have a reasonable chance to go deep into the playoffs, within maybe two to three years? Why or why not? 

NY Jets GM Mike Maccagnan set to have $80 million in cap space for 2018

Chad: I have slightly more faith than if we were talking about the Browns. But, the Jets are a disaster and I don’t see them using the money wisely to turn the thing around in New York.

Dan: Not much. This organization just looks like they’re a huge question mark. I feel bad for Jets’ fans to a point. They’ve missed out on a lot of great opportunities in the last couple of seasons. They have a ton of cap space going into next season, but I don’t think that amount of money will turn them into a serious contender within two-three years. I think a more realistic goal should be five years and they shouldn’t force anything. I’m not in agreement with getting rid of Revis, but they did grab a great secondary player to help replace him. They need a quarterback and offensive help BAD.

David: The top quarterbacks who could become free agents next year are:

  • Kirk Cousins.
  • Matthew Stafford.
  • Drew Brees.
  • Sam Bradford.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo.

Drop 30M on Stafford or even Brees, and put half of what you got left on a line. Welcome to 10-6.

2020 and Russell Wilson will be 31 and a free agent . . . . and I think Earl just wet himself.

Joe: As I mentioned in an earlier answer, I am a Jets fan and as  Jets fan I have no faith the Jets’ management can spend five cents in a meaningful way, forget about $80 million.

However, despite my pessimism… I see no reason why if they do their homework they can’t invest some money in an offensive line that can protect whoever they eventually get to be their QB… they don’t need a big, bad expensive QB; they just need one that is competent enough that he can hit his receivers or hand off the ball without butt-fumbling it. Once the offensive  line is set then spend some of that $80 million on shoring up their pitiful defense.

5) To replace Adrian Petersen, the Vikings went out and signed veteran Latavius Murray and then drafted Florida State’s Dalvin Cook in the 2nd round of the draft.  

In your opinion, who wins the starting job coming out of preseason? Then, by season’s end… who is the starting RB?  

Chad: Being only 27 I expect Murray to be the starter when available, but I could see Cook definitely get a lot of touches over the course of the season.

Dan: I think Latavius Murray wins out because he has the experience and the talent. Dalvin Cook is a rookie and I don’t think they’re going to give the top reins to a rookie. But, in my opinion, the starting job really doesn’t matter all that much since I believe both will be equal contributors at the running back position but the starter title will belong to Murray.

David: Dalvin Cook on both counts. If. he can get some stickum on his gloves and hold onto the ball, and learn to put his head down on 3rd down and just plow ahead, the Packers are going to hate him almost as much as ADP.

Joe: I think Murray starts the season as the #1 back for the Vikings, and they ease Cook in at #2. Once, Cook becomes more comfortable i t he NFL he will be ready to step in if Murray gets injured or begins to tail off. I don’t think Cook is ever the #1 back in 2017/2018, if neither of these scenarios with Murray takes place.



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