A: When the Kenny Britt situation blew up last week, Kendall Wright had a dream opportunity fall in his lap.
John Glennon of The Tennessean has indicated the holdup with Wright is that he wants a guaranteed fourth year on his contract. All indications are that this is a somewhat unusual demand, but the fact is he has the team right where he wants them.
The Titans know they may lose Britt to a suspension even if he is healthy. That means that any hope of a strong start depends on Wright getting into the offensive flow early.
So much about this season for Tennessee depends on how much confidence they have in their roster. Teams always want to mitigate risk, but in this case they took Wright in the first round, so guaranteeing him a fourth year isn't a ridiculous gamble. Obviously, they expect him to be on the roster in four years, or they wouldn't have taken him.
Personally, I always favor the players in these negotiations. Wright has been ordered to play for the Titans, so he should do everything possible to secure the best contract he can for his family.
In this case, the team may not have much choice but to cave.
I've been a huge supporter of Addai's for years, and feel he was under-appreciated by many in Indy. Still, I opposed the Colts' efforts to re-sign him before the 2011 season. There were plenty of rumors in that offseason that the team never felt he was fully healthy after the vicious hit he took in Washington in 2010.
Addai is a Classic Colt, and I wish him all the best. But I fear his playing days are done.
A: What a rough day for Williams. The Texans signed Bryant Johnson, according to the team press release sent to me.
Whenever a team signs a nine-year veteran with barely 300 career catches over a former first-round and Pro Bowl player, that tells you something. Johnson played with the Texans last year, and that was enough to give him the nod.
The fact that the Texans are still hunting for a veteran wideout shows just how thin they are. Kevin Walter ought to be on the bubble as the No. 2, but at this rate his job looks as safe as anyone's.
Houston doesn't have a lot of weaknesses, but I still hold that wideout is one of them.
A: Was Gabbert set up to fail? Absolutely. I said at the time of the draft that it made no sense to take a rookie quarterback with a coach entering a lame duck year. My fear was that Gabbert would struggle. The Jaguars would change offenses, and he'd be back to square one, having wasted a year.
Yup. That about covers it.
Now, as for what I think about Gabbert, there are three components to consider.
First, do I think he was as bad as people say he was last year?
Yes. He was absolutely one of the worst quarterbacks in two decades. No matter what else, we can't sugarcoat what he actually did on the field.
Second, apart from how badly he played, do I think it's likely he improves?
No. However, that's only because I'm an odds guy. I play the percentages, and the numbers say it's highly unlikely that a player whose sack rate was that high in his rookie year will become productive. It's possible, but it's highly unlikely.
Now, the third question: does Gabbert have the tools to succeed?
Yes, he does. He's got the physical gifts. I believe he has the supporting talent around him to thrive. I love Mike Mularkey.
If anyone can beat the odds, it's Gabbert.
A: I'm very high on Justin Blackmon. I never project players to be superstars, because at this level, most guys have comparable talent. Heart is what separates stars from average players, and heart is something that none of us can judge until it is revealed.
I see Blackmon's skills and think of him as a Keyshawn Johnson-type player at worst. Johnson was a bit taller than Blackmon, and many people think of him as having an underwhelming career, but he caught balls for 10,000 yards and made three Pro Bowls.
If that's the floor for Blackmon, you'd take it right now.
He's very talented, and whether or not he turns out to be an amazing top-shelf wideout, he's a very good second guy at worst.
Whether he becomes more than that is up to him.
A: You aren't crazy. I fully expect the Colts to not only open at 2-1, but to hit the six-game mark at 3-3. I imagine I'll be getting smug emails come October from fans ripping me for predicting a bad season from the team
Now, I don't have a lot of wins on the schedule for them after that, and would be surprised if they won five games on the year, but I think the team gets off to a good start. The schedule sets up very well for them.
If they don't start strong, watch out. It could be "Suck for All the Draft Picks Matt Barkley Will Bring in Trade" in Indianapolis by the end of the year.