Terrell Owens free agent watch continues

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The 2010-11 NFL season may still be a few months away, but teams around the league have not been shy about making moves to improve their franchise in preparation for next season.

The one team that has made more significant moves than any other NFL franchise this offseason has been the Washington Redskins. Not only did they get a serious upgrade at head coach with future hall of famer Mike Shanahan, but they were also able to bring in a franchise caliber quarterback in six-time Pro Bowler Donovan McNabb.

Obviously, the trade to bring in McNabb was controversial to say the least as the Philadelphia Eagles sent a perennial Pro Bowler to a division rival in the Washington Redskins, but it may have been a step in the right direction for both storied NFL franchises moving forward.

The wheeling and dealing didn’t stop there for the Redskins as they dealt away their former starting quarterback Jason Campbell to the Oakland Raiders. With McNabb in the lineup in Washington, it was just a matter of time before they sent Campbell elsewhere and the Raiders might be the ideal fit for the promising quarterback.

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Once the Redskins had a hall of fame caliber quarterback and head coach in place, the team was on the lookout for a veteran wide receiver and Terrell Owens seemed to be the ideal candidate.

Now it is no secret that Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens had some bad blood in their time together in Philly, but apparently that feud has been squashed and the two future hall of fame football players are quite fond of each other these days.

So for a period of about a month, the biggest rumor flying around the Washington Redskins was that Terrell Owens might be teaming up with Donovan McNabb once again. Despite these rumors seemingly turning into reality, no deal was able to get completed between T.O. and Washington and the NFL superstar wide receiver still remains without a team.

Along with the Washington Redskins, there have been plenty of other teams around the league mentioned as Terrell Owens’ next destination, but they have all turned out to be only rumors up to this point.

Usually, free agents of T.O’s caliber don’t stay on the open market for very long. Last offseason the Dallas Cowboys gave Owens his walking papers and it didn’t take long for him to sign with the Buffalo Bills, but this time around it has been tough for T.O. as many teams are seeing more cons than pros when considering signing the controversial wideout.

The two teams that have been mentioned recently as having some interest in Terrell Owens have been the Carolina Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks, which are teams that are in desperate need of some help in the receiving core.

Despite not exactly having the ideal quarterback for Owens’ special needs, the Panthers and Seahawks are trying to find viable second options alongside T.J. Housmanzadeh in Seattle and Steve Smith in North Carolina.

It is uncertain how interested these two teams are in signing the free agent wide receiver, but the Carolina Panthers might be the team more inclined to sign T.O. after the recent arm injury of Steve Smith.

Vincent Jackson’s possible trade destinations

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The San Diego Chargers are coming off yet another successful season as they were able to turn their year around with an inspired run in the second half of the season and win the AFC West. Not only were they able to hold off the resurgent Denver Broncos in their division, but they got back into the playoffs and in the title contender conversation.

Unfortunately, the Chargers were knocked out of the playoffs for the second season in a row by the Super Bowl bound Indianapolis Colts. This was a big eye opener for the Chargers front office as it was obvious that something needed to be done in order to compete for a Super Bowl title.

Even though the San Diego Chargers were unable to make it past the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs once again, Philip Rivers and company played exceptionally well during the regular season after getting off to an unexpected poor start to what was thought to be a possible run at a Super Bowl.

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One of the main reasons for the Chargers success throughout this past season was the emergence of their passing game. Philip Rivers was always considered one of the best quarterbacks in the league and was rewarded for being just that with a deal worth $92 million dollars over the next six years.

Throughout his time with the San Diego Chargers, Rivers’ favorite target has been tight end Antonio Gates. Not only is Gates considered arguably the best tight end in the game today, but he is also a big threat in the passing game, but he did take a backseat to wide receiver Vincent Jackson last season.

Over the past couple of years, the Chargers second option in the passing game was either wide receiver Chris Chambers or running back LaDainian Tomlinson, but last season Vincent Jackson played the lead role in the offense while Gates became the second option in the offense.

Despite Vincent Jackson having a breakout year with 1,167 receiving yards, nine touchdowns on 68 receptions, the Chargers seem to be on the verge of trading the up and coming wide receiver as he has been a big problem off the field.

Recently, Jackson was arrested for DUI, his second arrest for driving while under the influence, and has been suspended for the first three games of the season by the NFL.

Not only is this bad timing for Vincent Jackson who is looking to sign a new contract and was willing to sit out the first half of the season to get it, but this recent trouble off the field may have finally convinced the San Diego Chargers that it is time to move on and pursue trading the wide receiver.

So far there seem to be just four teams with interest in trading for Vincent Jackson:
Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins.

All four of these teams are in desperate need of some help in their receiving core and Vincent Jackson would be an ideal candidate, but he also brings baggage and a three-game suspension along with him.

NFC West: San Francisco 49ers will have breakout season

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For the second straight season in a row, the Arizona Cardinals won the NFC West title after yet another impressive season by future hall of fame quarterback Kurt Warner in what turned out to be his fair well season behind center.

Despite the Arizona Cardinals putting on one hell of show against the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs, Warner decided to call it quits and hand the team over to backup quarterback Matt Leinart.

Along with Leinart finally getting his shot behind center as the starter in Arizona, the Cardinals also parted ways with one of their best receivers in Anquan Boldin by trading him to the Baltimore Ravens.

With the departure of Warner and Boldin, the Arizona Cardinals will look much different season, but they will still have the ability to light up the scoreboard on any given Sunday and could be a threat to win the NFC West for the third straight season in a row.

Arizona Cardinals (last season: 10-6, division title)
Even though the Cardinals will still have a legitimate shot at winning the NFC West title for the third straight season, the team could easily go through somewhat of a down season as they try to adjust to an offense without one of the best quarterbacks of the all-time.

Personally, I believe that Matt Leinart has the ability to pick up where Kurt Warner left off, but I think it might take the entire season to do so.

Seattle Seahawks (last season: 5-11)
The Seattle Seahawks have gone through some drastic changes over the past few years as they try and get back to dominant status in the NFC conference, but they may have taken a step in the right direction this offseason by hiring longtime USC head coach Pete Carroll to patrol the sidelines.

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The one thing that the Seahawks need to do in my opinion, in order to compete in the NFC West once again, is to find a new starting quarterback of Pro Bowl caliber. Matt Hasselback is a great quarterback and leader behind center, but his time as a top QB in this league are over and the injuries are starting to mount up.

This will be another tough season for the Seahawks, but they will continue to improve with every passing season.

St. Louis Rams (last season: 1-15)
Ever since Kurt Warner left St. Louis a few years back, the Rams have become arguably the worst team in the NFL. It is not that the Rams don’t have talent as running back Steven Jackson is amongst the best at his position in the league today, but the team can’t compete with a running game alone and I believe St. Louis is heading to another last place finish in the NFC West.

San Francisco 49ers (last season: 8-8)
Last season the San Francisco 49ers went from one of the worst teams in the league to a potential playoff team in the NFC Conference. Mike Singletary’s squad may have just missed out on the playoffs last season, but they made huge strides for the future as they gave former number one overall pick Alex Smith another chance behind center.

Even though the young quarterback still struggled at times throughout last season, he struck up some much needed chemistry with his tight end Vernon Davis and gave 49ers fans hope for the future.

Along with a potent passing game, San Francisco also has one of the better running games in the league with Frank Gore coming out of the backfield.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the 49ers can keep this momentum going, but I believe they will do just that and come away with the division title next season.

Our NFC West title prediction: The San Francisco 49ers

NFC South: New Orleans Saints come out on top once again

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The New Orleans Saints are coming off their most successful season in franchise history as they were able to go through almost the entire NFL regular season undefeated and beat some of the best teams in the league in the playoffs like the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game and the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl.

Here is a rundown of the NFC South heading into next season:

Atlanta Falcons (last season: 9-7)
Last season was brutal for the Atlanta Falcons as they had high hopes of competing with the best of the best in the NFC Conference, but right as the season really started to get going for the Falcons, the team suffered one major injury after another.

Not only was their best running back Michael Turner banged up all season long, but Pro Bowl wide receiver Roddy White and face of the franchise in quarterback Matt Ryan also were battling injuries at times during this season.

Even though the team’s three best players were never really playing at a 100% all season long, the Falcons were still able to stay afloat with a 9-7 record, but they missed out on the playoffs.

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This season the Atlanta Falcons one concern will be keeping their star players healthy in order to compete with the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in their division. It will be a dog fight throughout the entire season between the Saints and the Falcons, but I am not sure whether or not Atlanta can compete with Drew Brees and company.

Carolina Panthers (last season: 8-8)
Over the past half decade or so, the Carolina Panthers were thought to be potential Super Bowl contenders heading into every single season as they had the total package with a potent offense and a lockdown defense.

Despite making it all the way to Super Bowl a few years ago, only to lose to the New England Patriots, the Panthers were able to remain competitive in the NFC, at least until last season.

With quarterback Jake Delhomme having the worst season of his career and just nothing going right for the Panthers all season long, Carolina stood no chance to make the playoffs or compete with teams like the Saints, Vikings and Cowboys in the conference.

This season should be different as the team has been turned over to a promising young quarterback Matt Moore. This young kid still has yet to prove himself, but he looks like he could be the next face of the franchise and possibly lead the team into the playoffs next season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (last season: 3-13)
Besides the St. Louis Rams (1-15) and the Detroit Lions (2-14), no other team in the league had a worse than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Back in 2003, the Bucs were one of the best teams in the league led by arguably the best defense in the NFL. Now the Bucs are nothing more than a shell of this once dominant defense and will remain near the bottom of the league for quite some time with little hope for the future.

New Orleans Saints (last season: 13-3 division title)
In this division, the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints only have one real threat to compete with them in the Atlanta Falcons. If the Falcons can stay healthy throughout next season, they will have a good chance of being able to give the Saints a run for their money.

Personally, I believe that the Falcons do have the kind of talent to compete with the Saints, but Drew Brees and company are still the cream of the crop in the NFL right now and will be extremely tough to beat next season.

NFC South title prediction: We like the New Orleans Saints

Is Michael Vick in trouble once again?

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Before last season began, the Philadelphia Eagles made perhaps one of the riskiest moves in franchise history as they took a chance on troubled superstar quarterback Michael Vick by signing him to a two-year deal. Not only was Vick fresh out of prison after serving 18 months, but the possibility of an already hostile fan base turning on the team was highly likely.

Fortunately for both Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, the signing turned out to be somewhat of a success as the one-time NFL MVP was able to keep out of trouble and get better with every minute on the field.

Obviously, during last season six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb was still the man in Philly and there was no chance that Vick was going to get to start behind center for the Eagles without an injury to McNabb and possibly also to backup Kevin Kolb. Even though Vick getting playing time was a stretch to say the least, head coach Andy Reid found ways to implementing the once “fastest man in the NFL” into the offense.

In the early going, Vick’s impact was minimal at best as he really didn’t look like the player we all remember with the Atlanta Falcons. There was no doubt that the former NFL MVP was going to need time to get his legs back, but with his playing time being as limited as it was for the quarterback, not many people thought would ever see Vick at top form again.

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Fortunately, as the season progressed and Michael Vick got more and more time on the field, the former human highlight reel started to show flashes of his former self and there was hope that he would once again become that dominant player we all wanted to see once again.

Even though the Philadelphia Eagles looked like they had a good shot of going far in the playoffs, Donovan McNabb and company just couldn’t hang with what appeared to be a much better Dallas Cowboys team as they lost to Wade Phillips’ squad in two consecutive games.

Despite not going as far in the playoffs as anticipated, the Eagles have decided to hold onto Michael Vick, but the decision to do so may have been premature as it appears the troubled quarterback might have gotten himself in trouble once again.

Recently, Michael Vick threw a party at a Virginia Beach nightclub celebrating his 30th birthday, but the night didn’t come without its fair share of controversy as before the night was through, a shooting occurred with an old friend of Vick’s being the prime target.

Apparently, Vick had left the nightclub about 10 minutes before all the madness went down which involved his friend Quanis Phillips, but Phillips is someone that Vick is no longer supposed to consort with after he served 21 months for his involvement in the dog fighting ring which put the NFL superstar behind bars for 18 months.

Obviously, this caught the eye of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell who has been upfront about what would happen to Michael Vick if he gotten in trouble once again.

It is uncertain what the commissioner or Virginia Beach police are planning to do about Vick as his story about that night has some flaws that need to be rectified.

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