There’s no true offseason in the NFL as each day there are happenings and rumors. The NFL Combine has wrapped up and NFL free agency is yet a few weeks away, but the stories keep coming in. I’ll give you a quick overview of what happened while you were punching the clock and also add in my two cents.
Demaryius Thomas - Thomas testified in the rape trial of his former teammate, Perrish Cox on Wednesday. Cox is accused of raping a sleeping woman in which Thomas was making out with earlier that night. To add to the odd night, Cox was in the backseat with his girlfriend, Carthy Che, while Demaryius was in the front with the victim. The victim said that she was kissing and messing around with Thomas and felt fine. The ladies went back to Cox’s apartment that he shared with fellow teammate, Cassius Vaughn.
Vaughn was asleep in his room that night as all of the players had to be at the Broncos’ facilities early the next day. Demaryius kept a inflatable mattress at Cox’s apartment and he was kissing the victim on the mattress in the living room. The woman passed out and Cox carried her body back to bedroom. Thomas testified that Cox returned and said that “I think she’s ready”. Thomas replied “Nah, I don’t think so”. Thomas admitted he wanted to sleep with the woman beforehand but wouldn’t sleep with her because she was drunk. Cox then stayed in the living room with Thomas for a little over an hour before Demaryius left. When he left the woman was still asleep in the bedroom.
The victim said she awoke the next morning feeling sick. At a later date the victim went to a hospital, where she found out she was pregnant. She originally thought that Thomas must have slept with her, but the DNA proved to be Cox’s, who had repeatedly denied sleeping with her.
The whole situation is disgusting. It also makes you wonder how much to blame is Thomas in all of this. When another man says that a passed out female is ready, I doubt that the best action is to leave her helplessly alone with him. Some will blame the woman for putting herself in this situation and while admitting to having 10-15 drinks on most nights while partying isn’t the most responsible action, it by no means gives the right for anyone to lessen her value as a human being. I doubt that any would say that a male college kid at a club that was getting wasted deserved to get raped. Just because her risk of being taken advantage of is higher, doesn’t mean that she is in any way at fault. While we are in the middle of draft season, this should also open the eyes of incoming prospects. Memo to all incoming NFL rookies, just because you have new net worth, doesn’t mean any other individual has any less personal worth.
Hines Ward - In another move to free up cap space, the Pittsburgh Steelers have released wide receiver Hines Ward. Ward made his 1,000th catch in the last regular season game for Pittsburgh. I’m starting to think that ”Dancing with the Stars” is becoming the new Madden curse. Any current NFL player that goes on the show has an immediate down turn to their career. Jason Taylor, Chad Johnson, and Hines Ward. Now Donald Driver is supposed to be on the upcoming season. Let me be the first to say how great of a career Driver had because the DWTS curse will force him in to retirement or his release after 2012. It’s the veteran NFL player’s version of jumping the shark. Ward had had a heck of a career and now I guess the last thing he can do is sign a one year contract with the Patriots and put up zero production.
Cardinals vs. Saints - The league announced earlier this week that the NFL season will kick off on a Wednesday as opposed to the usual Thursday to avoid conflict with President Obama’s speech. Today they released the schedule and the names of the teams to participate in our annual kickoff to the NFL Preseason. The Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints will start the preseason on August 5th at the Hall of Fame game. Last year the Hall of Fame game was the only game action that was missed due to the lockout. The NFL should go above and beyond to make it up to Canton for the loss income from 2011. As it stands right now, we don’t know who will be quarterbacking the Cardinals and the Saints are still trying to nail down Drew Brees long term. Who knows, this may be a Peyton Manning vs. Drew Brees rematch…but we could say the same thing if this was the Dolphins, Redskins, Seahawks, Jets, Colts, etc. etc.
Redskins Free Agency Spending - I could have cut and pasted that title from stories over the last 10 years. I realize that it’s no surprise that the Washington Redskins plan on going out and buying talent instead of developing it, but, it is news worthy. Washington will try to reel in one of the big fish in the wide receiver, free agent pool. Vincent Jackson will be at the top of the list. The Redskins could also look at a Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne, Dwayne Bowe, or Steve Johnson. Mike Shanahan could look at any of those to be his next Brandon Marshall. I’m sure he hopes Leonard Hankerson comes back healthy and becomes his next Rod Smith.
Peyton Hillis - Talking about a headline that you could cut and paste. Stop me if you heard this before, Peyton Hillis has parted ways with his agent. Hillis will be looking for his fourth agent in just over a year. Don’t blame the Madden curse on this, because it’s just plain old stupidity. I could understand having different point of views with an agent and going a different route but when you change them like underwear then it’s time to look in the mirror. This seems like a case of being out of touch with reality. The Browns say that they’re still interested in working out a deal with Hillis. I wouldn’t be. He’s already lost the locker room and if you reward a guy for quitting on the team because he wanted more money, then the rest of the players will take the same route. If I’m the Browns I would cut ties with Peyton and if I’m an agent, I don’t answer his call or take him on as a client. He has no loyalty, so what would be the point of committing to him if he’s not committing to you?
Bill Polian - ESPN has signed Polian to help out with their draft coverage. I don’t know how many shows you can get out of “draft Peyton Manning and he’ll make all your other picks look good”. The NFL Network has Charlie Casserly and I imagine this is ESPN’s way of keeping up with the Joneses. But, the NFL Network also has Michael Lombardi… so, wasn’t ESPN already winning? For any credibility that Casserly gives you, Lombardi sucks it out ten-fold. I’m also curious if Bill made ESPN offer his son a job as well.
That’s a wrap on what seemed to be the most important buzz surrounding the NFL on this leap day.