Speaking of which…

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    It’s Super Bowl Week!  Yay…?

    Super Bowl Week is always a little…wistful.  If your team isn’t playing in the title game, watching myriad interviews, retrospectives and pressers with teams, players and coaches you care little about becomes tiresome, bordering on depressing after awhile.  This year in particular, the doldrums surely began to settle in as you realized The Same Guy You Hated For Years Because He’s Always In The Super Bowl is again in the Super Bowl, albeit with a different squad and perhaps a greater sense of purpose than his other title-bound teams.  Speaking of which…

    Buccaneers QB Tom Brady (it’s forever going to be weird typing that) will be appearing in his tenth Super Bowl this Sunday, and given the excellent year he again had behind center, it’s fair to wonder whether he’s continue playing beyond his targeted retirement age of 45.  It appears he’s considering it, and really, who wouldn’t do the same, given his circumstances?  I have to admit my latent animosity towards Brady subsided a bit after he left New England, but to wish him success in this Super Bowl would be antithetical to the years of angst and ire I’ve built up over the years.  Sorry, Tom.  We just can’t be buddies.  Speaking of which…

    To revisit: Aging Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger continues to indicate his willingness to return in 2021, and appears open to restructuring his untenable cap hit ($41 million) to accommodate the rest of the roster, but one of his previous conditions of return was the availability of C Maurkice Pouncey, reportedly one of Roethlisberger’s closest friends in the locker room.  Pouncey, by most reports, is still heavily considering retirement, and as this article notes, his play has shown marked regression in recent years, so bringing in a cheaper, younger option might’ve been in the Steelers’ offseason plans previously.  Pouncey’s decision, as noted here in recent weeks, ultimately may affect Roethlisberger’s, so stay tuned.  Speaking of which…

    Mary Kay Cabot weighs in on possible Browns offseason moves, including her recommendation the team exercise fifth-year options on both QB Baker Mayfield and CB Denzel Ward.  I certainly agree in Ward’s case, as he’s shown enough promise, yet enough injury woes, to entertain another year of team control without sacrificing significant chunks of salary cap to him, but disagree on Mayfield strongly.  Since their return to the league in ’99, the Browns have yet to field a consistent, “franchise” quarterback, as their zig-zagging trail of broken QB retreads, lower-round picks and journeyman castoffs can attest.  Signing Mayfield to a long-term extension would finally mark an end to that dubious pattern and would help establish a team identity for the next decade or longer, not to mention his play warrants it.  Speaking of which…

    The Ravens’ list of free agents is extensive, and among the most notable is DE Derek Wolfe, whose selfless 2020 campaign consisted of playing every position on the defensive line as needed, and bypassing sack numbers in favor of occupying blockers and maintaining position/leverage points.  Wolfe earned his $3 million last season and then some; the Ravens would be wise to consider bringing him back with a modest increase, as he’s the sort of “glue” player most teams build around, and he seemed to internalize the team-first concept the Ravens tend to promote.  Speaking of which…

    Bengals beat writer Geoff Hobson tallies some numbers here in an effort to demonstrate how the team’s current crop of younger players is faring historically, but only glancingly acknowledges the vast differences between eras and the compilation of assorted statistics.  These are always fun little exercises, but providing context into the current roster requires more scouting insight and comparisons using current evaluation methods.  Regardless, the point stands – the Bengals’ under-25 participants appears to be improving as their best projections said they would, and with the front office remaining largely intact this offseason, the teams’ draft approach stands to be validated for a third consecutive year.

    Personal note:  Thanks for sticking around during this trying season.  Writing these pieces each week has given me a little escape from the political and pandemic-related morass we’re all stuck in, and I really appreciate the online company and opportunity.  I’ll be back, and I’m looking forward to a possible “return to normal”, at least for the NFL, in 2021.

    Stay cool, man.

    AUTHOR

    Ravenous128

    All stories by: Ravenous128

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