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Tag:Eli Manning
Posted on: June 27, 2011 1:26 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 1:49 pm
 

Eli Manning prefers Plaxico on Giants to Tiki

Posted by Will Brinson

Though Tiki Barber and Plaxico Burress might not be the most sought-after free agents on the market, they've arguably generated more discussion than any other players out there.

This is also somewhat interesting as the pair used to be teammates but generally aren't considered possibilities to re-join the Giants. Still, what if you had to pick between them? Who would you take? And if you had to force one person in the world to make that choice, wouldn't it be Eli Manning?

Of course it would.

Fortunately, Dan Patrick did just that on his show Monday morning, asking Eli to pick between the two free agents.

“Probably Plaxico,” Manning said via Michael David Smith at PFT. “He has probably fonder memories, winning a Super Bowl, that catch for the touchdown in Super Bowl XLII. Tiki just ended on a bad note. It’s really a shame, he should be remembered as a great Giants running back and a terrific player — because he was — but the way he went out he burned a few bridges.

"So I think Plaxico would probably be welcomed back a little quicker.”

The fact that Eli picked Plax isn't particularly shocking, especially considering the criticisms Eli and Tiki swapped last year while Tiki was working for NBC. Eli also addressed that criticism on the DP Show.

“I responded back and I think guys liked to see that from me,” Manning said. “I didn’t want it to be a deal where it’s me vs. Tiki . . . but I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing.”

Of course, there's also the fact that Tiki's a running back who's well past his prime, which is a pretty good reason the Giants wouldn't want to pay him money to truck the football.

Plax might struggle to get the hang of football again as well, but the curve for a possession wideout is substantially smaller than someone even trying to play the role of a third-down back.

Besides, it's not as if prison's any worse in terms of forcing his skills to deteriorate than a broadcasting booth.

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 10:03 pm
 

Sapp, Strahan latest to call out Tiki Barber



Posted by Ryan Wilson

We mentioned it in Hot Routes this afternoon, but we might as well delve into the gory details since there's not much else going on. Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan, former players who now make their living as television analysts, are the latest to say that Tiki Barber should stay retired.

Sapp, who played 13 NFL seasons for the Buccaneers and Raiders, was blunt: “I didn’t think much of him when he did play,” he told Rich Eisen on the aptly named Rich Eisen Podcast. ”I mean that’s the whole point. He was a fumbler all the way through his life, and then all of a sudden, somebody taught him how to hold the ball up high and then he (left the Giants) and said, Eli (Manning) can’t lead them and they’ll never win a championship.

“That kind of lends to who I’m talking about. This is the same guy. This is all encompassed into the same thing. There’s no way you turn your back on your teammates that block for you, that gave you the ball on short fields and did whatever they did. … There’s still no reason for you to attack your teammates.”

Strahan, who played with Barber in New York, was in no hurry to defend his former teammate. “Sapp is 100 percent right,” he said. “Only thing is, if it comes to playing football, he can play.”

And that's the thing, Barber was a tough downhill runner. His biggest issue now, apart from the fact that he's 36 and last played in the NFL in 2006, is that he's not known as a locker room guy.

“I think it plays into the minds of some of the teams that will probably go, ‘Well, he can come in, he can be productive. We think he can. But how does that play into the chemistry of our team?’” Strahan said. “So I think that’s important if you’re a GM. That’s what you’re going to look at if you’re a head coach. Now, if you want guys that are going to give you production, that’s going to work hard, is going to bust his butt, you’re going to get all of that … But the other part, I’m not sure myself.”

Tiki's Return?
Which is basically what everyone has been saying since Barber un-retired in March.

Two related questions: has anyone defended Barber? We can't recall a single person stepping forward and saying, "Tiki would be a great addition to any NFL team!" Also: anybody else find it peculiar that Ronde, Tiki's identical twin who still plays with the Bucs, hasn't spoken up on behalf of his brother?

Maybe Ronde doesn't want to get involved (which is completely understandable). Or perhaps he doesn't think Tiki should return to football, either. We've mentioned it before (as have the commenters), but it's a strange juxtaposition, Tiki and Ronde. One player disliked by his former teammates, and another who appears to be well respected by players, coaches and fans, quietly plodding along, often playing at a Pro Bowl level during his 14-year career.

When the lockout ends and training camps begin, Tiki very well could get his opportunity to make an NFL team. It's just that history, age, and a lot of former players (some of them teammates) are against him. 

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 11:11 am
Edited on: June 22, 2011 3:19 pm
 

Peyton, Eli doing 'Football Cops' for DirecTV

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE: We've got a Season 1 trailer, courtesy of FootballCops.com! Peyton Manning is "Mike Tahoe," Eli's "C.J. Hunter" and there's an Archie cameo as well. And while I'm still not sure if it's an "actual television show," I am laughing pretty hard right now.





Peyton Manning, as our own Mike Freeman noted, has been pretty quiet this offseason, despite starring in the NFL players' antitrust lawsuit against the league.

Perhaps that's simply because he's been hanging out with his brother Eli, filming a series of cop dramas for DirecTV in advance of the upcoming NFL season.

No, seriously. Via Monsters & Critics, here's some sort of behind-the-scenes sort of video that DirecTV's dropped in recent days (including the photo above and the one below).



Now, there are a couple of things to point out about these little chunks of media.

1. Does this mean that DirecTV -- provider of the SUNDAY TICKET package and would-be defender of the fan via a lockout policy -- is planning for a 2011 season? Because if Peyton and Eli are shooting commercials for the upcoming year, it doesn't guarantee football, but it certainly seems like a positive step. Or …

2. Does this mean DirecTV is planning on NO SEASON, and simply banking on a groundbreaking dramatic series from the Manning brothers to fill up the time in which they'd normally be running actual NFL football. And …

3. How amazing are these mustaches, you guys???

The answers to those kind of questions seem to be 1) yes, 2) unlikely, and 3) absolutely amazing.

No amount of commercial shoots are going to lock in the NFL season, of course. But, remember, we're in baby-step mode, and every bit of positive momentum counts, even if it's just a Manning Bros cop drama.

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Posted on: June 17, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Finally a resolution to Manning vs. Brady debate

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Sports Illustrated has released its list of the 50 highest-earning American athletes, and eight NFL players made cut. If nothing else, it provides resolution to question that comes up every time the Colts play the Patriots: who's better, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady

If we're going by the amount of money they can stuff into their respective man purses, Peyton's the big winner.

Manning, who ranks fourth on SI's list and first among NFL players, is set to make $23 million in salary (expected haul based on his 2011 contract) and $15 million in endorsements for a grand total of $38 million in 2011 earnings.

Brady ranks third among NFL players after Matt Ryan ($32M/$450K/$32.7M) and will pull down just $20 million plus a measly $10 million in endorsements.

Of course, Tom has three Super Bowl rings to Peyton's one.  Oh, and he's also married to Gisele Bündchen, the highest-paid supermodel for seven years running who happens to be worth nearly ten figures.  

But even if Brady loses points for, sigh, this -- or showing up in public looking like he just stepped off the set of Fantasy Island (lower left -- he was actually at the Kentucky Derby), or succumbing to Bieber Fever (lower right -- that was at a Celtics game) -- at the end of the day, he's still going home to Gisele. He could look like Vince Wilfork dressed up as Bill Belichick and he'd still be better off than every other man on the planet, including Peyton. 



As for the other NFL names to crack the top 50, here you go:
Remember what Plaxico Burress said recently about the Eli Manning-Mark Sanchez dynamic?

"Eli has won a championship, and the crazy thing about it is that Mark Sanchez almost gets more pub than the world champion quarterback," Burress said. "And I'm looking at it from afar. The man went out and led the organization to a Super Bowl, but for some reason I guess Mark Sanchez is supposed to be better than the guy that has already won one."

Turns out that holds true for salary and endorsements, too.

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Posted on: June 14, 2011 11:45 am
Edited on: June 14, 2011 11:57 am
 

McCarthy not worried Packers aren't working out

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Opinions vary on the long-term importance of player-organized workouts. The lockout prohibits coaches and players from communicating, so until there's a new CBA, these informal training sessions are all we have. Or, if you're the defending champion Green Bay Packers, you forgo the workouts altogether and wait for the season to officially begin.

It's one thing for the Carolina Panthers to take this approach; they would immediately be ridiculed for not wanting to improve on last year's 2-14 season. It's something else entirely when the Super Bowl champs do it. It's akin to fans and media mocking the Raiders for taking on Randy Moss' baggage but praising the Patriots for doing the same thing a few years later. The difference: Bill Belichick has earned the benefit of the doubt.

Same deal with the Packers. And perhaps it's why we haven't heard much consternation about the fact that they haven't held informal get-togethers during the lockout. Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy, appearing on ESPN Milwaukee with Jason Wilde, addressed the issue Monday.

“I’m more interested in them being together as a group for Greg Jennings’ event or Donald Driver’s event," McCarthy said. "I think that’s as important as them going onto the field and trying to manufacture a practice. I think anytime you have a group of people, especially professionals, there’s other factors involved that obviously have to deal with risk. Part of our business in the training environment is risk assessment.

"It’s important for these players when they do come together for the first time that there’s a progression you go through as you get ready as a group. I know in my heart that every one of them has been taking care of business on an individual basis, and I know some of them have gotten together in small groups. They’ll be ready.”

Seems perfectly reasonable to us.

It also parallels the observations Browns tackle Joe Thomas made this week when he said that fewer OTA and minicamp sessions during the offseason might be better for the players in the long run.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning called the workouts "better than nothing," which isn't exactly a ringing endorsement for their effectiveness.

"It's kind of the best we can do under the circumstances," Manning said Monday, according to the New York Daily News. … "[The sessions were] really to just kind of get some of the young guys out there, to get Jerrel (Jernigan, the Giants' third-round pick) and some of the draft picks, to get them to meet some of the guys, learn a little bit of the terminology," Manning said. "You get worried. You don't know how long this lockout is going to be, where if it goes too long they'll never be able to catch up and it'll be a wash of a year for them. You're trying to prevent that."

Manning's less concerned with the veterans. "You can get your timing in training camp," Manning said. "We've got guys that have been there before."

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Posted on: June 13, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:46 pm
 

Plaxico Burress thinks Jets are 'appealing'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Free man Plaxico Burress said at a press conference Monday that he no longer owns guns, which means that if he's ever again shot in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub, it won't be at his own doing.

Burress' media tour also included a sit-down with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, where the former Giants wide receiver called the Jets an "appealing" option, although he wanted to make it clear that he's open to playing anywhere. (The feeling, it seems, isn't universally mutual.)

"Ever since I came to New York, the fans have embraced me," Burress told Smith. "It is a great city and a great town. It will always be a special place to me regardless of what happens. I can't say the Jets or Philly or anywhere of that nature, but I am going to make a decision that is best for me and my family. It may not be the best team but put yourself as a piece to the puzzle and say what's the best chance I have to win a championship."

In late May, a week before Burress was released from prison, we wrote about the likelihood that the Jets would pursue him in free agency.

The Jets have proven time and again that they are unafraid to hitch their wagon to players with baggage (apparently, there's plenty of room on the wagon for both). Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards are the most recent examples, and they helped the Jets to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game appearance last January. Coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum know what they're doing.

There is also the possibility that Edwards and Holmes could be lost via free agency should there be a season. That explains the interest in Randy Moss, although neither Moss nor Burress offer Mark Sanchez quite the dynamism that Edwards and Holmes provided a year ago.

Last Friday, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora wrote that "The Jets won't fight that hard to keep [Edwards] -- that tells you more than enough." Which leaves open the possibility -- however slim -- that Burress could end up there. And if it does happen, he thinks he can help Mark Sanchez become a better quarterback in much the way he helped Eli Manning during his stint with the Giants.

"Eli has won a championship, and the crazy thing about it is that Mark Sanchez almost gets more pub than the world champion quarterback," Burress said. "And I'm looking at it from afar. The man went out and led the organization to a Super Bowl, but for some reason I guess Mark Sanchez is supposed to be better than the guy that has already won one."

Translation: Even from prison, it's obvious that Mark Sanchez isn't much of an NFL quarterback.

That's a joke, but this isn't: Burress' observations about punishments fitting crimes are spot on.

"You got guys (in there) that are never going home," Burress said of his fellow inmates. "Rapists, murderers, pedophiles, everything that is associated with jail and crime, I was there with them. There were 22 or 23 of us guys on a unit, and I looked at myself and my situation and I was saying, am I really here for what happened to me?

"Looking at what some of those guys were in there for, I didn't think I deserved to be there, but at the same time I was looking at it like, I am going home. Some of these guys are not going home."

Other than New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who disagreed with Burress.

Whatever, that chapter of his life is behind him. Hopefully, the experience makes him a better person. And if Plax is looking for a way to give back, we have a suggestion: How about organizing a "Scared Straight" session for Kenny Britt. Because as it stands, the laws of probability aren't in Britt's favor. It's not a matter of if he'll land in jail, but for how long.

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Posted on: June 9, 2011 8:58 am
Edited on: June 9, 2011 4:46 pm
 

Rivers not headed to UFL if lockout drags on

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Philip Rivers is often mentioned as one of the NFL's best quarterbacks. The unquestioned leader in San Diego, he was part of a 2004 draft class that included Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. Poll 100 fans, and the majority would take Rivers over the other two, even though he's the only one without a Super Bowl ring. Which just reinforces the point that it takes more than a franchise QB to win championships (although it's almost impossible to pull off without one).

Like most players, the lockout has left Rivers with no day job and a lot of time on his hands. To keep busy, he has organized team workouts to keep some semblance of order amid and otherwise weird offseason.

On Wednesday, Rivers spoke with XX Sports Radio (via SportsRadioInterviews.com) in San Diego about everything from an eight-game season to whether the UFL (!) would be an option if the NFL season is pushed back or canceled.

The league has contingency plans for a shortened schedule should it come to that. And while it's not something anybody wants, recent history suggests that it won't have much of an impact on the eventual champion. Which might explain why, in Rivers' mind, whether eight games or 16, a Super Bowl title is a Super Bowl title.

“Oh, eight game season (is) crazy," Rivers said. "Shoot you only played 10 in high school. Play eight, get in, let’s go. It counts the same.

"I certainly won’t feel bad if that’s the case and we’re able to go on and win it. Definitely eight games over no season. Certainly prefer 16 over eight, but there needs to be football of some sort. I’m not ready to concede to the fact that eight games is a possibility. We still have two months to get something done.”

Rivers admitted that he "just can't really even believe [a lockout] can happen" because "I don't have a back-up plan." He even went so far as to tell his wife that "I’m playing football somewhere, sometime this season."

That led to the inevitable follow-up about if that meant the UFL was an option.

“No... . I’m not going that far. I just can’t imagine not playing football and it’s not happening. I think everybody else feels the same way. Hopefully both sides with this lawsuit and negotiations feel the same way too. Ultimately it’s like that research paper that’s due, you’ve known it for three months but for some reason you’re sitting up at the last night typing it at midnight. It’s not midnight yet…"

Translation: "I love football, but not enough to risk the rest of my career, millions of dollars, and the chance at some titles just to play with the Sacramento Mountain Lions."

For now, Rivers, like the rest of us, waits. Just don't expect him to keep you updated on his offseason goings on via Twitter because he's not a fan. “I understand it can be a great tool and it can be super positive," he said. "It just seems to me to be something else to manage that doesn’t seem to be necessary.”

We have no idea what you're talking about, Philip.

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 5:36 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 7:27 pm
 

Cromartie, Bayless have Big Ben's back

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger might have two Super Bowl rings, but even after seven NFL seasons some players remain unconvinced that he's anything more than a glorified game manager. That's the conclusion we're drawing based on Big Ben's recent ranking as the league's 41st best player as voted on by 400 of his peers.

Not everybody feels that way, however. Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie took exception and tweeted as much. Responding to ESPN's Skip Bayless, who wrote "Big Ben definitely is in my top 10 NFL players," Cromartie put that Florida State psychology degree to work*:

"@RealSkipBayless same here skip...whoever did the voting is crazy."

Cromartie, who will be a free agent as soon as the lockout ends, has a love-hate relationship with NFL quarterbacks. In January, prior to the AFC Divisional matchup between the Jets and Patriots, he spoke frankly about Our Savior Tom Brady, calling him an "ass----" and offering up a "f--- him" for good measure.

"That's what I think about him," Cromartie said at the time. "I don't really give a damn about him. I don't have to play against him. I play against the receivers."

Despite the blasphemy, the Jets managed to thump the Pats and make it to their second AFC Championship Game in as many years. In the days leading up to the conference finals against the Steelers, Cromartie spoke glowingly of Roethlisberger.

"I love Ben, man," he said. "Ben's a competitor."

We're not sure if the Jedi mind tricks backfired or if Cro was blinded by Big Ben's magnificence (we're thinking it was mostly the former; Roethlisberger completed just 10 of 19 passes for 133 yards and threw two picks in that game), but the Steelers built a 24-3 halftime lead, held on to win by five and made their third Super Bowl trip in five years.

On Tuesday, ESPN.com AFC North blogger James Walker wrote that "[N]o one is laughing this week about Roethlisberger's latest snub. Cromartie certainly doesn't like it, and although Roethlisberger wouldn't admit it, he's probably not happy about it, either."

We suspect that Cromartie is losing more sleep about the lack of paychecks resulting from the lockout than whether Ben's contemporaries think highly enough of his talents. And while Roethlisberger may not be jazzed about it, we're confident that Steelers fans don't much care (we know we don't). At the very least, Big Ben's feelings are at the bottom of the "Things That Concern Fans Most This Offseason" list behind "Resolve labor dispute," "Re-sign Ike Taylor," and "Make sure Mendenhall has a ghost blogger for future posts."

Lists are created for one reason: to encourage debate. But it could be worse for Roethlisberger -- he could be Eli Manning, who isn't expected to be among the top 100 players of 2011. (Seriously? We could understand if this was an all-century team, or even all-decade. But Elisha can't crack the 2011 squad? Yes, we're breaking our own rule about not caring about lists, but this is so ridiculous that even one of the Barber twins has a problem with it.)

If nothing else, we've enjoyed Bayless and Cromartie leading the PR crusade on Roethlisberger's behalf. That's a reality show waiting to happen.

* We have no idea what Cromartie majored in at FSU.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com