Talking Points: NFL Free Agency Update

– With Nnamdi Asomugha taking his talents to Philly, the focus for the Jets now turns to Antonio Cromartie. With money to spend, there’s no reason the Jets can’t bring him back.

– Braylon Edwards has been rumored to not be wanted by the Jets. Sources have indicated Miami as a possibility. With the Jets allegedly going after Plaxico Burress, this could be accurate. I’d really like Braylon back, but I trust the Jets front office to make the right decisions for the team. The Steelers are also interested in Burress.

– The Jets have re-signed Eric Smith and are on the verge of bringing back James Ihedigbo. The team also signed corner Donald Strickland and may be in the process of acquiring Phillip Buchanon.

– Besides a re-signing or two, the Giants have done virtually nothing. Steve Weatherford signed with the G-Men yesterday, but is that something to really get excited about? With holes at LB, OL, and RB, I have no idea what Jerry Reese is doing.

– Speaking of the Giants, Osi Umienyiora hasn’t reported to camp. This could be an ugly holdout. I’m not sure if the Giants and Osi can reconcile their differences. It would not shock me at all to see him moved for a draft pick or two.


Talking Points: Jets Free Agent Frenzy

I told everyone last week not to panic, and I was right.  Two days into free agency, the Jets have already made an impact.  And they’re not done either, as they have money to spend.  Despite what the media says, the Jets are in a very good position.

Santonio Holmes re-signed with the team today.  It was a five-year deal for a total of $50 million.  The contract is backloaded, so his cap hit this upcoming season will only be $2.45 million.

– The team-friendly cap hit this season allows the Jets to go after Nnamdi Asomugha.  The media will call this potential signing a long shot, but I wholeheartedly believe it could happen.  The Jets should offer $10-12 million, which combined with non-monetary factors could very well be enough to lure him in.

– Nnamdi and Revis would form the best cornerback tandem in the history of football.  These two players are clearly the best two at their position.  If they join forces, I suggest they should be called the “No-Fly Zone”.

– Nick Folk re-signed with the Jets for another year.  He’ll be challenged in camp by Nick Novak.

– Yesterday, the Jets inked Wayne Hunter to a four-year deal.   Damien Woody looks to be retired.  Hunter is one of the most underrated linemen in football.  Jets fans should not worry about their 0-line this season.  The Giants have someting to worry about, however.

– Braylon Edwards is not expected to re-sign with the Jets.  He sent out a controversial message on Twitter about Jets management, but he quickly deleted it.  There were rumors of the Jets being interested in Randy Moss, but who knows how likely that is.

– Mark Sanchez was named the captain of the Jets today.  He will wear a ‘C’ on his jersey.

– The Jets are once again major players in free agency, despite the media saying for months that they’d completely strike out.  This is why you can’t believe what the media tells you.  If you do your homework and research the facts yourself, you’ll realize that the media’s truth is rarely the whole truth.

Santonio Holmes is back, but the Jets aren't done.

Talking Points: 2011 NFL Free Agency Preview

– Ahmad Bradshaw is in Miami right now and is expected to sign with the Dolphins.

– Nnamdi Asomugha is in Detroit and is expected to sign with the Lions.  That’s good news for both New York teams, as he’s out of both divisions.  We reported on this a while back, and I’ve been saying the Lions should pursue him since 2007, long before he was the undisputed second-best corner in football.

– The Jets signed Josh Baker today, an undrafted free agent tight end.

GREAT NEWS for the Jets.  Their dead money from last year will not count against the salary cap.  The Jets are now 7.8 mil under the cap.  Yup, you read that right.

– Once the Jets re-sign Harris for lower than his franchise cap number, they will have well over $10 million to spend.

– If the Jets can restructure Mark Sanchez (reports today said they may not be able to), that will put them around $15 million to spend.  Even if the Jets can’t restructure Sanchez’s deal, they can make it up the money by restructuring a few other deals and cutting a player or two.

– Damien Woody said today on ESPN 1050 that it’s the Jets or retirement.  Again, great news for the Jets.

Boomer and Carton’s Al Dukes came up with another ingenious song, this time about the Jets.

– I told Jets fans last week not to fear this upcoming free agency period.  These next few days could be some of the darkest in Jets history, but they also could be some of the brightest.  I strongly believe we will not be disappointed when this whole thing is over, and the Jets will once again be championship contenders.

For more on NFL free agency, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Football is back, but the fate of many teams could be determined this week.

2011 NHL Free Agency Talking Points

– The main attraction of this year’s free agent class was obviously Brad Richards.  All along, the speculation was that he would sign with the Rangers. After narrowing his choices down to the Rangers, Leafs, Kings, and Flames, Richards finally chose the Rangers.

– I believe today is a good day for Rangers fans.  Nine-years, $60 million is a huge contract, but it comes at an affordable cap hit of $6.67 million per year.  Depending on how much this contract is frontloaded, Richards could eventually retire after six or seven years and leave some low-salary years left on the table.

– This is a symbolic signing by the Rangers.  It shows that the front office thinks the team is ready to win now.  If the Rangers could add another scorer and a veteran defenseman, I agree.  There’s no reason this team can’t win a playoff series or two next season.  It’s no so unreasonable.  The defense and goaltending are there.  Now hopefully the offense will improve with Richards.

– The Rangers also signed LW/C Mike Rupp to a three-year, $4.5 million contract and re-signed winger Ruslan Fedotenko to a one-year, $1.4 million deal.  These are two nice pieces that will undoubtedly fit into what the Rangers want to do next year.  You know how much John Tortorella likes to play a tough, physical, grinding game.

– The Islanders did nothing besides sign center Marty Reasoner to a two-year deal worth $2.7 million.  He’s obviously not the answer to anything.  With money to spend and areas to improve, Islanders fans should once again be irate at their front office.

– As for the Devils, they re-signed backup goalie Johan Hedburg and defenseman Andy Greene.  Greene’s four-year deal should provide some concern, but both are good players that the Devils should be glad to have back.  I’m just not sure the Devils have enough to once again become contenders next season.  They had a chance to add some pieces through free agency, but they were once again restricted because of cap problems.  With only about $7 million to spend and with Zach Parise unsigned, they had no resources to make a move.

– Overall, the past two days have been crazy.  Ridiculous contracts have been handed out, players went to teams you’d never expect them to go to, and some teams like the Panthers went absolutely crazy.  I refuse to pick winners and losers because no one knows how these signings will work out.  Almost every team overspent on players, so no one really won.  By far, the winners were the players.  That’s why it was such a shock that Brad Richards’ cap hit was under $7 million.

For more on NHL free agency, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Talking Points: Should the Rangers Sign Brad Richards?

– The Lebron James of the 2011 NHL free agency class is undoubtedly Brad Richards.  That’s an absolutely atrocious comparison for various reasons, but it gets across the point for all you basketball fans.  I’d say there is about a 91% chance (that’s his number, get it?) Richards will sign with the Rangers and reunite with John Tortorella.

– There’s two things Rangers fans want to know tomorrow.  First, how much money is this signing going to cost the Blueshirts per year?  Second, how many years is this contract going to be for?  I think Rangers fans unanimously agree that it would be better for the Rangers to overpay in dollars rather than in years.  In other words, we don’t want a 40-year-old Richards playing for us at the end of this decade.  It’s as simple as that.

– We all know Sather has made mistakes before.  From Holik, to Drury, to Gomez, to Redden.  It’s no secret.

– The question is if we should look at those mistakes and base our opinion on Richards off of Sather’s past errors.  Will Richards end up like Drury and Gomez?  That is the question Rangers fans want to know.  While Richards’ statistics have been better than those two centers throughout their careers, Brad is 31-years-old.  How much longer will he be productive?  It’s anyone’s guess, but I wouldn’t give Richards more than six years.  He’s going to want eight years, while the ideal deal is four years.  Six is a reasonable compromise.

– To repeat myself, I don’t want Richards if it’s more than a six-year deal.  If you can talk him down to a five-year deal with a higher salary, that would be perfect.  However, I think Brad wants to make this his last NHL contract.  The question is if he’ll give some sort of a discount to play in New York.  And I think we all know the answer to that is no.

– There are great arguments that support not signing Richards all together.  These arguments make plenty of logical sense.  Why waste money when the team isn’t ready to compete yet?  Why spend money on someone who will decline when the team finally starts to get good?  And does Richards fill a need?

– While those first two questions are reasonable, I disagree with them because I feel Richards has a chance to make the Rangers contenders right now.  It will take a few more pieces, but the Rangers could definitely be a high-seeded playoff team if everything falls their way.

– As for filling a need, Richards definitely does that.  Besides being that impact first line center the Rangers have dreamed about, he can also quarterback the powerplay.  If he works out, you can kiss Michael Del Zotto goodbye without being heartbroken.  If Richards can anchor the powerplay, why not trade Del Zotto for a scoring winger?  It’s not like the Rangers are in desperate need of young defensive prospects.

– In conclusion, I believe Brad Richards would fit in great with this team.  He’s played under John Tortorella before, so the transition period won’t be an issue.  At the right price, Richards can be a great signing.  If Glen Sather gives him an eight-year, $56 million deal, I will be furious.  But if it’s more along the lines of six-years, 39 million, I will be thrilled out of my mind.

Let's hope Sather doesn't screw this up again.

2011 Stanley Cup Finals Talking Points

So the Boston Bruins, much to my chagrin, have won the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. America’s most fraudulent hockey city has brought home the Stanley Cup for the sixth time.

– Roberto Luongo is a choke artist. Plain and simple.

– Tim Thomas is a big game goalie. He’s done what Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t, and that’s putting the team on his back during the playoffs.

– Canada should be ashamed of themselves. When was the last time they’ve won a Stanley Cup?

– Don’t worry, Boston’s dominant run is coming to a close. The Red Sox aren’t all they’re made out to be, the Patriots have a 2-3 year window to win another title, and the Celtics are pretty much done. The Bruins could be good for a while, but repeating is extremely hard in today’s NHL. Heck, getting far in the playoffs is hard enough. Ask the Rangers.

– Boston isn’t a hockey city. Stop saying that. No one cares about the Bruins until it’s playoff time. Most people still didn’t care until they were a few games away from winning the whole damn thing.

– The Rangers organization should be downright embarrassed. Since their last cup in 1994, the Flyers have been to a Finals, the Devils have been to four Finals and won three, the Penguins have won one and lost one, and the Bruins just won their first since beating the Rangers in 1972. When will the Rangers be serious contenders again?

– With Brad Richards probably taking his talents elsewhere, the Rangers are in trouble. You need more than just Richards, but if you can’t even get Richards, it’s a lost offseason. Your only other option then is to overpay for someone in the trade market.

– The buyout period starts in 48 hours, which means the end for Chris Drury. It’s same to assume Callahan will be the next captain, with Dubinsky taking Callahan’s ‘A’.

Talking Points: How to Fix the Yankees

I’ve done a lot of pondering over the past hour or so. After some deep thought, I have come up with a solution to once again return the Yankees to greatness.

1) Call up Jesus Montero now. Ease him into the majors with some games here and there at catcher and DH. He’s going to be a starter next season, so I want him to have some at bats this year before he takes on that role.

2) Fire Joe Girardi if we don’t make it past the ALDS. We’re not struggling because of him, but I say fire him for the heck of it. A change for the sake of change always isn’t good, but we need to show that we’re not here to play around. We can’t waste these last years of the Jeter/Mariano era with early eliminations. I want #28 within the next few seasons.

3) I want two front of the rotation starters, preferably in their prime (27-33). We need major changes in the rotation, obviously Garcia and Colon aren’t long term answers. Who knows if the Killer B’s will develop into reliable starters or if Hughes will ever be the same again.

4) Sign Pujols or Fielder, preferably Fielder. He’s that extra impact hitter we’re missing. Fielder would be the perfect DH for the rest of this decade and would be cheaper than Pujols. I see no problems with this. Imagine him with the short porch?

5) Retire Torre’s, Pettitte’s, Bernie’s and O’Neill’s numbers at a huge ceremony. Yes, very random and it won’t help the team at all, but I want it done.

6) Sign Reyes or Rollins. I’m serious. Jeter won’t be around forever. Move him to the outfield if you fill the DH spot with someone like Pujols or Fielder. We need to get the next franchise shortstop. It’s such a premium position. Look at how the Red Sox are still struggling to fill that hole. This is our chance to prevent that.

7) Trade Gardner. He is a very valuable trade piece as he is a fantastic inexpensive role player. You can get some real value for him, and replace him with a higher-costing option that is just as good. We can afford to sign a player just as good as Gardner for more money and get pieces back for him in a trade.

8) Cut ties with Posada after the season. He’s done.

9) Decline Swisher’s option, only keep him if he takes a major pay cut.

10) Don’t re-sign CC if he opts out. We’re not going to go through that nonsense again. Make it clear that if he opts out of his contract, he is opting out of wearing the pinstripes. We won’t get fooled again by this.

If the Yankees follow these steps, they will be champions once again in 2012.

A euphoric moment like no other. When will we feel the thrill of a World Series victory once again?