Posted on: October 20, 2010 12:35 pm

Hot Routes 10.20.10: Go, Matty, Go!

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Yesterday, we brought you the heroic story of something about Vince Young. Today, Matt Leinart, VY's nemesis (or something), is competing for a backup job! Yay, Matty! But seriously, couldn't you see the Texans reeling off a couple wins in a row, playing decent defense, making everyone think they're contending for the division and maybe more and then suddenly Matt Schaub's leg gets crushed in a freak bad snap play followed by every single Texans fan realizing that Leinart's their starting quarterback? Except Gary Kubiak, who thinks Leinart has the "it" factor.
  • A New York Times reader is jumping in the concussion debate, op-ed style, with a piece titled "How I Became a Head-Hunting Defensive Back."
  • Drew Brees' new baby's name? Bowen Christopher Brees. I eagerly await an explanation for why it's not "Brinson."
  • Some random folks who don't want to see football disappear because of a lockout started the Twitter account @NFLLockout. The NFLPA then asked for it in exchange for some Michael Vick posters or something, they declined and the NFLPA called Twitter and demanded to get the account. And Twitter gave it up. 
Posted on: October 17, 2010 1:06 pm

NFL could punish players for NCAA violations

Posted by Will Brinson

The agent pandemic in the NCAA seems to be reaching a breaking point (see what I did there by NOT using "tipping point" -- it's possible, people), with more and more attention being paid to the behavior of young men before they become professionals.

Our own Charlie Casserly reported on "The NFL Today" that the NFL is "considering discipling players in the form of a fine for any NCAA violations" that they committed while amateurs.

This is a good thing, even if it's not necessarily effective (millionaires, as we've seen, aren't entirely scared of the prospect of losing a couple grand) -- the NFL needs to send as much a message as it can to its future stars that violations of NCAA law are not acceptable.

Consider, for instance, the cases of Santonio Holmes and Reggie Bush. Holmes only allegedly took money as a student-athlete at Ohio State, but the extent of the investigation involved Holmes' issuing a denial (more or less anyway -- the book was quickly closed on that one). Again, Holmes only allegedly did something wrong, but because he's already a professional and long out of the NCAA's jurisdiction, whether or not he broke NCAA rules is irrelevant to him at this point.

And with Bush, his name, his former school and his current team, to an extent, were all dragged through the mud while the NCAA continued to investigate his poor decisions at USC. Those poor decisions make the NFL look bad, certainly not to the extent of a DUI or a more criminal issue, but enough so to warrant some action on the league's part.

The NFL wants to make sure that it's (completely free!) farm system remains intact. And keeping agent slime/corruption out of college football will help do that.

In fact, if there ever was, in the midst of a labor negotiation, one good reason to actually get on the same page with the NFLPA on an issue, cleaning up the agent issue is it.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Category: NFL
Posted on: October 12, 2010 1:36 am

Marisa Miller is the new NFL spokesperson

Posted by Will Brinson

From the "kind of surprising but totally smart marketing" department comes the news that Marisa Miller has been named the NFL's newest spokesperson.

That's according to The Hollywood Reporter, via Shutdown Corner.

"I'm so excited to have this incredible opportunity to partner with the NFL," Miller says. "I've grown up watching football my whole life."

Now, this doesn't mean she'll be taking Greg Aiello or Brian McCarthy's job, but she should make it easier on them -- the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model turned NFL "SuperFan" will be helping promote the London matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos on Halloween.

"Going to the U.K. for this game is going to be a blast," the former Victoria Secret model says. "I'm looking forward to helping gain new fans and show them how incredible the game of American football is!"

There's some reasonable rationale that the NFL is making a mistake here (or, at the very least, being a little hypocritical) by using "sex" (read: an attractive woman) to sell their product. That's okay, and wondering about whether or not hiring Miller is appropriate certainly warrants discussion -- but it sure seems likely that there'll be a decent number of NFL fans equally excited to see more of the lovely lady associated with America's favorite game.
Posted on: September 9, 2010 7:45 pm

NFL Predictions from the F&R Crew

Posted by Will Brinson

It's prediction time, kiddos! And really, nothing's more awesome than putting yourself in charge of compiling these, creating HTML, squeezing them in just before the start of the first game and then being totally wrong a few months from now. The nice part is, you can make your own predictions below. Seriously, you can, and we're interested. So comment away. Or don't -- this post will be here all season long so you come back and remember just how right we all were.

Award Josh Andy Will
SB  Champs Colts Colts Falcons
NFC Champs Packers Saints Falcons
AFC Champs Colts Colts Chargers
NFC South
Saints Saints Falcons
NFC North Vikings
Packers Packers
NFC East Cowboys Cowboys Eagles
NFC West 49ers 49ers 49ers
AFC South
Colts Colts Colts
AFC North Bengals Ravens Bengals
AFC East Jets Patriots Patriots
AFC West Chargers Chargers Chargers
MVP Peyton Manning Aaron Rodgers Philip Rivers
Coach Jim Caldwell Mike Tomlin Norv Turner
Offensive POY Chris Johnson Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers
Defensive POY Darrelle Revis Troy Polamalu Patrick Willis
Offensive Rookie Ryan Mathews Jahvid Best Ryan Mathews
Defensive Rookie Ndamukong Suh Brandon Graham Sean Weatherspoon

Posted on: September 8, 2010 1:07 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 4:22 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

Posted by Will Brinson

Of all the frustrating offseason storylines , there's one that's perhaps most annoying: the impending NFL lockout in 2011. DeMaurice Smith, the union leader for the NFLPA, confirmed his belief on Wednesday that he think a lockout is coming.

“I still feel that a lockout is coming in March,” Smith told Bloomberg Sports .

Smith's biggest point of contention is the NFL refusing to actually provide financial information relating to their claim that they're not pulling in enough cash. (Enough here, of course, is relative.)

“If this model is not working, i.e. teams are losing money, then we’re willing to see the evidence of that and make the changes,” Smith said. “But prove it. If not, what’s the justification for getting a billion back from us?”

Smith, along with most players, doesn't care for the also-impending possibility of an 18-game season.

“We don’t look at two extra games as being divorced from the health, medical and safety standpoint,” Smith said. “It’s impossible to divorce one part of this from the whole.”

That may be true -- however, it seems pretty likely that the league will get its 18-games one way or another. Also likely, as expressed by Smith's quotes, is the NFL locking its players out.

Owners and players are just too far apart right now, and because the 2010 season is beginning and because 2011 seems so far away (regardless of whether it's true or not), the urgency to really sit down, negotiate and hammer out a deal just isn't out there for either side.

Which is why there's a pretty good chance that the most important people, the fans, will end up suffering the most.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: August 26, 2010 12:11 am

Cowboys, Redskins top Forbes' richest NFL teams

Posted by Will Brinson

You know how you know football is here? Forbes releases their annual valuations of NFL teams, that's how. Actually, I could swear they did this like a month ago, but whatever, it's blowing up on Twitter, so let's talk about it.

This may seem shocking, but the Cowboys, Redskins and Patriots are all worth the most. Okay, that's not surprising.

What may be a little bit off-putting though is that the average NFL team declined 2 percent in value over the last season, according to Forbes . That's the first time since '98 that the NFL's seen a drop in value over the average team and it proves one thing: the Great Recession can hit up anyone.

Of course, the good news is that the NFL saw it's aggregate revenue jump 5.8 percent to $8 billion.

The bad news, though, remains the same way it will for the next few months: no one's gonna make as much money if the 2011 NFL season is threatened by lockout.

Feel free to check Forbes for where your team stacks up -- if I had to pick surprises, I'd say the Texans at 5, the Niners as low as 22, the Steelers as low as 17 and the Bills as high as 28.

It's also worth noting that previously, when Forbes has released NBA team value information, much of it has been skeptical at best -- it almost seemed like some of the editors had beef with the NBA. No idea if that's the case with the NFL, but, clearly, don't take everything on the page as a hard truth.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: June 18, 2010 8:00 pm

Super Bowl Odds Are Here

Not that this blog is a resource for sports gamblers, but it’s sometimes interesting to see what the Super Bowl Odds are. Today BroBurySports.com released Super Bowl odds for the 2010 season.

Indianapolis Colts 6/1 (previously 6/1)
San Diego Chargers 8/1 (8/1)
New Orleans Saints 9/1 (10/1)
New England Patriots 10/1 (10/1)
Pittsburgh Steelers 10/1 (12/1)
Green Bay Packers 11/1 (12/1)
Dallas Cowboys 12/1 (12/1)
Minnesota Vikings 12/1 (12/1)
Baltimore Ravens 15/1 (15/1)
New York Jets 15/1 (15/1)
Philadelphia Eagles 18/1 (12/1)
New York Giants 20/1 (30/1)
Washington Redskins 20/1 (50/1)
Atlanta Falcons 30/1 (30/1)
Chicago Bears 25/1 (40/1)
Cincinnati Bengals 30/1 (30/1)
Houston Texans 30/1 (40/1)
Tennessee Titans 30/1 (30/1)
Miami Dolphins 40/1 (40/1)
San Francisco 49ers 40/1 (40/1)
Arizona Cardinals 50/1 (30/1)
Carolina Panthers 50/1 (40/1)
Denver Broncos 50/1 (50/1)
Seattle Seahawks 50/1 (40/1)
Jacksonville Jaguars 60/1 (50/1)
Buffalo Bills 100/1 (100/1)
Cleveland Browns 100/1 (100/1)
Detroit Lions 100/1 (100/1)
Kansas City Chiefs 100/1 (100/1)
Oakland Raiders 100/1 (100/1)
St. Louis Rams 100/1 (100/1)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 100/1 (100/1)

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL, Super Bowl
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com