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Tag:Brett Favre
Posted on: July 22, 2010 10:29 am
Edited on: July 22, 2010 11:32 am
 

Favre upset over 'drama queen,' gained 14 pounds

As it turns out, the two items in the title are actually unrelated, although the idea of Brett Favre reading the Men's Journal article where Bus Cook called him a "drama queen" and then eating two gallons of double-fudge, chocolate chunk ice cream while crying in his room is pretty amusing.

But, yeah, that's not what happened. However, the reasonably awkward quotes about Favre from Cook in Stephen Rodrick's article did inspire a reaction from Favre, when WDAM's Mitchell Williams caught up with Favre at Oak Grove High School on Wednesday and asked him about the whole shebang (you can watch the video here ):Really kind of Bus has caught a little grief in the story with Men's Journal ... [Rodrick] spent a day with us. We filmed the Wrangler commercial that day. We joked around and really it was a joking around [day]. You know Bus, you know me. We opened up our family lives to him. I guess the lesson to be learned in all that -- I hate to even say it -- [is] just that you can't trust anybody. That's not the way I was raised [to think like that]. Oh yeah, and he admitted that he gained 14 pounds in the offseason. What a FATTY, right?

Seriously though (since I bet everyone's pretty confident Favre can shed a couple LB's before the season starts), Rodrick's article sounds as if Bus and Brett get into semi-serious spats about Favre flying by the seat of his pants; read it carefully and you can find some humor in the Cook and Favre exchange.

Which, I think, is the point that Favre is trying to make here; the problem is he just didn't make it clear and now people believe that he's being dramatic about being called a drama queen. The easy out would have been to just say that it's "unfortunate when reporters patently take stories out of context" and then let Rodrick read between the lines the next time he wants an interview.

-- Will Brinson

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

Posted on: July 21, 2010 8:36 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 8:50 pm
 

Which NFL players make the most total money?

Sports Illustrated has published its list of the highest paid athletes in sports. Peyton Manning leads all NFL players with a salary of 15.8 million and endorsements of $15 million, totaling – can you guess? -- $30.8 million. Manning ranks ninth amongst all athletes.
P. Manning
In a sign that the NFL rookie salary system has truly spiraled out of control, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ranks second in the NFL in total earnings. Stafford is hauling in just $750,000 in endorsements, but his rookie contract is paying him $26.9 million.

Third is Eli Manning, with $19.5 million salary (part of the contract extension he signed last August) and $7 million endorsements. Manning ranks 13th amongst all athletes, which is 30 spots higher than he ranked a year ago.

SI writes:

Our findings consisted solely of salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees. We consulted players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Our endorsement estimates for 2010 came from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salary figures were based on current or most recently completed seasons (the upcoming 2010 season for the NFL).

Here’s the rest of the NFL’s top 10 (most of these players recently signed long-term contracts with rich bonuses).

4. Philip Rivers, $25.6 million salary, $250,000 endorsements, $25.85 million total

5. Terrell Suggs, $24.9 million, $75,000, $24.975 million total

6. Albert Haynesworth, $24.6 million salary, $150,000, $24.75 million total

7. Brett Favre, $17 million, $7 million, $24 million total

8. Darrius Heyward-Bey (yeah, seriously), $21.43 million, $150,000 endorsement, $21.505 million total

9. Jason Smith, $20.57 million, $75,000,$20.645 million total

10. Julius Peppers, $20 million, $75,000, $20.75 million total

-- Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 21, 2010 10:37 am
Edited on: July 21, 2010 11:02 am
 

Favre's ankle not where he 'would like it to be'

#FavreWatch is in full effect right now, what with Vikings coach Brad Childress visiting Brett in Mississippi recently .

But it's lacked the sufficient tension of a true offseason drama (it's seemed more like a TNT original series at this point) ... until Favre told USA Today that his ankle isn't where he wants it to be in a recent interview, sparking lots of rabble-rousing and horned-helmeted head shaking.

"After almost nine weeks, it's not where I would like it to be, but I'm working at it,'' he said. "Maybe it never gets to where I want it to be. Forty years old … three surgeries … that's all you need to know.''

Seems a little too convenient of a reason to make people nervous, but whatever -- it's not like Favre, at his age, is ever going to be "100 percent." Getting older does that to everyone, be it golfers, quarterbacks or even bloggers. (Seriously: carpal tunnel ain't not joke.)

Also not a joke -- Favre has no deadline for his 2010 decision:

"The deadline? I don't know,'' Favre said. "There obviously comes a point where you've probably gone too far, where you just have to move on. He hopes I make the right decision for myself -- one way or the other.

This isn't surprising -- we mentioned that such a deadline was unlikely when first discussing Childress' visit . And the thing is, there won't be a deadline either.

That's because Favre's a top-five quarterback in the NFL , his backups are most certainly not, and if Childress wants to make a Super Bowl run this year, he needs No. 4. The leverage is obvious almost to the point of embarrassing.

-- Will Brinson

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter.
Posted on: July 20, 2010 3:16 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:40 pm
 

Position rankings: quarterbacks

Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit saved everyone's favorite position ranking debate for last.

Josh Katzowitz’s top five

5. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

4. Brett Favre, Vikings

3. Philip Rivers, ChargersP. Manning (US Presswire)

2. Drew Brees, Saints

1. Peyton Manning, Colts


This top five quarterbacking exercise is interesting. You basically can put the league’s starting quarterbacks into three categories. The top guys (about seven players), who you’d pick if (for some reason) you needed somebody to go 80 yards in 2 minutes in order to save your mortgage. The middle guys (maybe nine players) who used to be really good but now aren’t or who are young but could turn out to be really good. Then, the lower-end guys (the rest) who are interchangeable and probably wouldn’t lead your team to the top of the division. In that end, this exercise isn’t that difficult, because, basically, we’re picking from about seven quarterbacks.

That said, I’d be surprise if anyone argued against Peyton Manning as the top quarterbacks in the league – and maybe one of the best-five of all time. I could run through the stats, but you know they’re awesome. Perhaps most impressive about Manning, like Favre, is that he’s so durable. Part of that has to do with the performance of his offensive line – Manning was sacked 10 times last year – but he’s also tough, never missing a start in his career (that’s 192 straight games).

Brees had an incredible year last season, recording a QB rating of 109.6 and completing an NFL-record-tying 70.6 percent of his passes. I’d feel safer with Manning with the game on the line, but not much. Rivers and Rodgers passed for at least 4,200 yards, 28 touchdowns and less than 10 interceptions last season. And it’s tough to discount Favre, especially after how he performed last year in his 19th season. Yeah, he plays cowboy too often and throws atrocious interceptions in clutch moments, but for consistent greatness, he’s tough to beat.

Andy Benoit’s top five

5. Brett Favre, Vikings

4. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

3. Drew Brees, Saints

2. Tom Brady, Patriots

1. Peyton Manning, Colts

Josh, seven of the last nine Super Bowls have been won by quarterbacks who are NOT on your list. I can understand omitting Eli Manning – he ranks in the 10-12 range, not the 1-5 range. But I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger don’t show up.

The only explanation for a “healthy-minded” individual omitting Brady is that said “healthy-minded” individual thinks Brady isn’t the same after his ’08 knee injury. True, Brady had some trouble getting comfortable in the pocket during the first half of last year, but he still finished the season with nearly 4,400 yards and 28 touchdowns. The knee can’t be THAT grave a concern.

The argument against Big Ben, I’m assuming, is that he’s suspended for character issues, which calls his leadership into question. Whatever. The man is 28 and already owns two rings. Physically-speaking, Roethlisberger is the most gifted quarterback in the NFL.
 
Go ahead and retort these Brady-Roethlisberger arguments – I’m prepared to argue all day. (And if you’re prepared to say that Brady has weapons around him, I’m prepared to say that he won his three titles with Troy Brown and David Patten; if you’re ready to mention Roethlisberger’s sack numbers, I’m ready to remind you that his improvised plays have been a more than adequate tradeoff, and I’ll also ask, “If sacks are so bad, then what is Rodgers doing on your list?”)

A few other notes from your list…

**I agree with your analysis on Manning and Favre. Something I’d add is that no two quarterbacks transform average receivers into stars like these two. Favre made the careers of Robert Brooks and Antonio Freeman. He built fantastic chemistry with Donald Driver. Most recently, he’s helped Sidney Rice recognize his full potential. Manning did the same with youngsters Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie last year. Think either of those guys could register 100 yards in a playoff game if they had a typical quarterback throwing them the ball?

**You give credit to Manning’s offensive line. Don’t. All the credit goes to Manning. The Colts offensive line is, at best, average. Left tackle Charlie Johnson is a plodder and both guards are undersized. Manning’s awareness and pocket presence explain the low sack totals. It’s the same case with Brees and the Saints’ line, by the way. Left tackle Jermon Bushrod is awful, and you know how I feel about Jon Stinchcomb. But even with iffy tackles, Brees almost never takes sacks.

**Like you, I put Manning ahead of Brees. My reasoning is that Manning has been playing at the highest of levels for about eight years. Brees, only three or four. That said, I have trouble following your logic when you write, “I’d feel safer with Manning with the game on the line, but not much.” Wasn’t Brees’s Super Bowl title clinched by Manning’s late fourth quarter pick-six?

Josh’s rebuttal

So, you’re going to choose one play to illustrate that Manning isn’t clutch at the end of games? Well, what about the 2006 season AFC Championship game when he led the Colts back from an 18-point deficit, including that game-winning 80-yard TD drive, to beat Brady and the Patriots? Can we count that? Manning’s been clutch for longer than Brees in this league. That’s why I went with Manning as No. 1. Which you agree with, anyway.

When I mentioned there were seven quarterbacks who could have made the top seven, I obviously was also talking about Brady and Roethlisberger. I’ve seen Roethlisberger play numerous times live, and, to me, he’s simply a notch below the guys I’ve listed. I didn’t factor the recent legal issues or the suspension into my equation, but the leadership issues I did. It’s just the way he’s perceived by his teammates and the fact that they’ve questioned his character on a number of occasions. It’s not a good thing. I don’t mind him taking sacks because, I agree, he makes so many plays off his freelancing that it tends to balance out. But I point you to his 2008 stats: 59.9 percent completions; 3,301 yards, 17 touchdowns, 15 interceptions. Those are not elite numbers. Hell, Chad Pennington had better numbers than that in 2008.

And you know what? I don’t have a great argument for excluding Brady, other than he didn’t seem like the same player last year after the knee injury. Plus, Matt Cassel had a pretty good year in Brady’s place, so in my mind, that diminishes Brady just a tad.

But if I had a mulligan, I think I’d replace Rodgers with Brady at No. 5.

Andy’s final word

Can’t let you off that easy, Josh – especially since this is our last position rankings debate. Putting Brady at No. 5 is inadequate. He’s at least 2 or 3. I will say, though, your point about Cassel is not a bad one. The Patriots went 11-5 under him and were hot down the stretch (they got screwed out of a postseason berth by the NFL’s flawed playoffs rules that put the 8-8 Chargers in the tournament that year). During that ’08 season, an immensely respected NFL analyst privately told me that you could argue Brady is simply the greatest system quarterback of all time. This analyst wasn’t saying he believed this, he was merely explaining that the discussion was worth having. We’ll save that discussion for another time. For now, I’ll keep it simple by honoring a Three-Time Champ.

Roethlisberger’s ’08 numbers are poor. And, from afar, he doesn’t appear to be highly respected by teammates. I get that. But again, this is a multi-time World Champion we’re talking about. If we had more Super Bowl winners in the league, you could leave the guy off. But it’s hard to go with Rodgers or Rivers when those guys have yet to build rich playoff résumés.

Final follow up on Manning: I’m not saying he isn’t clutch. He is. I’m just anticipating all the comments we’ll get from people griping that Brees should be No. 1 based on recent history.


Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker  | Defensive Tackle  | Defensive End | Offensive Tackle   | Center | Offensive Guard | Tight End | Wide Receiver | Running Back)

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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

Posted on: July 20, 2010 11:14 am
Edited on: July 20, 2010 11:30 am
 

Favre's agent has harsh words for his client

The August issue of Men’s Journal may be worth reading. There’s a story in there by Stephen Rodrick that provides very candid (and, we’ll assume, light-hearted) griping from Bus Cook, aka Brett Favre’s Agent. Apparently Cook isn’t always thrilled by his client’s well-known flair for the dramatic. Here’s an excerpt:

“Brett talked to (goshdarned) Ed Werder at ESPN, says he needs ankle surgery. Now why did he do that? I’ve got Childress calling. I’ve got reporters calling all damn morning. Goddammit, why does he have to be such a goddamned drama queen? Play, don’t play, goddamn, people are getting sick of it. I’m getting sick of it! Why does he have to talk to these people? What good does it do? Ed Werder at ESPN! What’s he ever done for anybody other than say, ‘Look, look, Mommy, I got this first, ain’t I special?’ You got problems with surgery, talk to your wife. Why talk to goddamned Ed Werder?”

A giant white pickup truck rumbles into the parking lot. The driver gingerly steps down from his perch. Cook looks out the window. He mulishly paws the rug with his sneakers.

“Goddamn, there’s Brett. This is going to be interesting.”

The silver-haired Favre is dressed in shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt, looking simultaneously like a kid and the grandpa he has just become. As he comes in the front door, his ruddy face breaks into a sheepish grin, one he’s flashed a thousand times, chinstrap undone, at head coaches after throwing across his body into double coverage. He didn’t flash it the last time he tried that maneuver on New Orleans turf. He was too tired, too broken. Actually, we may never see that smile again. That’s why we are here.

“Hey, Bus,” says Favre.

He speaks slowly, a boy trying to delay a spanking.

“I guess I screwed up. I didn’t think it was a big deal. I just told him that I might need surgery. He made it into a big thing.”

Bus stares him down, but his face crumples into an exasperated grin.

“Jesus, Brett. You never learn. You guys go talk. I’ve got goddamn phone calls to make.” He pokes a finger at Brett. “Thanks to you.”
Favre eases himself into a chair with the slight, obligatory groan of the middle-aged. (He turns 41 in October.) He knows what you’re thinking. On the field, you want him drawing plays up in the dirt, making things happen without a plan. You don’t want to know that’s how Favre lives the rest of his life. The ankle surgery kerfuffle — getting the procedure done, the speculation goes, may indicate he’s coming back — is just the latest production number in year three of “Will He or Won’t He Play,” Favre’s one-man show. At this point everyone is counting ceiling tiles and looking at their watches.

“You’d think I’d know better by now,” he says. He offers a different kind of smile: sad and weary. “I’ve learned a lot through the years. What I haven’t learned is what I’ll do and when I’ll do it.”

-- Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.
Posted on: July 19, 2010 2:41 pm
 

Brad Childress in Hattiesburg visiting Favre

The "Brett Favre Watch" -- an annual event in which the media, fans and some NFL team are held hostage by the whims of a veteran quarterback -- should get revved up pretty, pretty, pretty hard starting today.

That's because Vikings coach Brad Childress is in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, at Southern Miss' 7-on-7 passing camp, which Favre routinely attends . Childress was approached by WDAM TV and when asked about his visit, responded like so:

"You can fill in the blanks."

Don't mind if I do!

How does "To lock down Favre and avoid getting stuck holding a bag with Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels inside" sound?

Probably pretty accurate, although if you disagree and think he's there for the lovely weather that the deep south provides in the middle of July, please feel free to say as much in the comments.

It is worth noting that a) Favre was unwilling last week to make a commitment and b) it's highly unlikely Childress is down there pressuring Favre to make a decision now -- as long as No. 4 is committed to joining the Vikings at any reasonable point before the season begins, he'll be a more than welcome addition, not to mention an upgrade from the previously mentioned backups.

Of course, for the rest of us, that means we get full-on saturation until he finally makes up his mind. Although since we've suffered through LeBrocalypse Now since the last Favre Watch, this one should at least be easier to handle.

-- Will Brinson

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter.  
Posted on: July 15, 2010 12:26 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2010 3:29 pm
 

Position rankings: tight ends

A. Gates makes a TD catch against Cincinnati last year (Getty). Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on tight ends.

Josh Katzowitz's top five

5. Vernon Davis, 49ers

4. Dallas Clark, Colts

3. Jason Witten, Cowboys

2. Antonio Gates, Chargers

1. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons

To pick a top-five list of tight ends, you can go the easy route or you can get it right. It’d be easy to sit back, click on last year’s receiving stats and pick the tight ends who had the most catches and/or touchdowns. But it’s not just about pass-catching ability. You also have to block the defensive end, linebacker or blitzing safety. Duality is important. You can make a lot of money catching passes as a TE, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily top-five in my eyes.

Gonzalez isn’t only top-five currently; he’s top-five all time. Heck, he might be No. 1 all-time, and even though he’s 34, he’s found new life with the Falcons. He’s been catching and blocking well since 1997.

Gates has grown into his TE role. He’s 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds – who can defend him? Not a linebacker – he’s too fast for him. Not a safety – he’s too big for him. Who then? Defenders have to hope that maybe the plantar fasciitis from which Gates is suffering will slow him.

I really like Witten. He blocks well in the run game, he catches a higher percentage of the passes that are thrown to him than just about any other tight end and he’s made the Pro Bowl six years running.  Dallas Clark had 100 receptions last year. That’s just impressive. Vernon Davis has great blocking skills to go with his ’09 78-catch, 13-touchdown season. The No. 5 spot was between him and Kellen Winslow, but ultimately, I like Davis’ consistency just a little more.

Andy Benoit's top five

5. Dallas Clark, Colts

4. Owen Daniels, Texans

3. Vernon Davis, 49ers

2. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons

1. Antonio Gates, Chargers


Tight end is one of the most difficult positions to rank. We’re basically in agreement on Gates and Gonzalez. Gates might be the greatest mismatch exploiter in the NFL. And you’re right about Gonzalez’s blocking. Vernon Davis is a monster athlete. He’s not the most natural all-around receiver – changing direction as a route runner and tracking off-target passes can challenge him at times – but he is far and away the best seams weapon in the sport. Mike Singletary has called Davis the best blocking tight end he’s seen. That’s a little hyperbolized, but only a little.

Most people will think I’m a joke for leaving Witten off. To be honest, I feel like a joke. But Clark is a lynchpin in arguably the best offense in football, and I can’t have a top five list without Daniels. He has become the best pass-catching tight end in football. Privately, I’ve heard a few well-known, universally-respected NFL analysts say he is THE best tight end – period. He is coming off major knee surgery, though.

I’m going to give you a prediction: by this time next year, every intelligent football observer will have Packers tight end Jermichael Finley No. 1 on their list. Finley is Gates with more size and athleticism.

Josh’s rebuttal

So, you’ll see my Bobbie Williams, my Jon Stinchcomb and my Manny Lawson, and you’ll raise me a Jason Witten. A bold move, my friend. Obviously, I don’t agree with you excluding Witten – at the very, very least, I’d pick him over Clark – but I don’t think you’re a joke. Maybe a pun that isn’t very funny, but not a joke. Honestly, I think Daniels is a sturdy pass-catcher, but his blocking is too much of a factor (or a non-factor) for me to consider him a top-five guy.

Andy’s final word

I’m fine with criticism of Daniels’s blocking, but in Houston’s system, it really doesn’t matter. Since we’re on the topic, I’ll take this opportunity to give props to Broncos veteran Daniel Graham, who is far and away the best blocking tight end in the NFL. And Kellen Winslow, who Josh mentioned earlier, is the league’s best route-running tight end.

To anyone out there who feels the urge to say “Hey! What about Brent Celek?!” or “Hey! Aren’t you forgetting Visanthe Shiancoe!?”, save it. Both players are classic examples of guys who benefit from having stars around them. Celek gets to operate against linebackers on just about every snap, and Shiancoe is primarily Brett Favre’s dumpoff option.

I’ve also noticed that Steeler fans are particularly sensitive about Heath Miller. Yes, Miller has soft hands and he’s incredibly sound fundamentally, but he’s also the fourth option in Pittsburgh’s offense. Just to finish things off, don’t try to sell Chris Cooley, either. Josh and I both put a better version of Cooley on our list, called Dallas Clark.

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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

Posted on: July 15, 2010 10:12 am
 

Favre still not saying if he'll return

Though it seems crystal clear that Vikings QB Brett Favre will return for his 20th season – he probably wouldn’t be throwing to high school receivers if he wasn’t planning to come back – he still refuses to say for sure.

In an interview with ESPN after Wednesday night’s ESPYs awards, as captured by Fanhouse , Favre played coy.

"I would love to play and be the best I can possibly be, and that's what I'm working towards right now,” he said.

After an outstanding 2009, Favre had offseason ankle surgery that was deemed minor. But the recovery time has been slower for Favre than he’d like.

"I still have a little bit of time," Favre said during a post-ESPYs interview. "I'm still, believe it or not, not completely healthy, and I may never be. … I'd hope it (the ankle) would be a little better at this point. I can walk on it, but you don't walk in football."

Either way, I wouldn’t expect to see much of Favre at Vikings training camp this season. He didn’t attend last year’s camp either, and that seemed to work out OK for everybody.


--Josh Katzowitz

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



Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
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