Talent and Potential Vs. Trouble and Drama (The Curious Case of Matt Jones)
It has been a fairly active offseason to say the least. With many teams cutting players to open up for new coaching regimes or simply to get rid of trouble spots. The first two that come to mind are Terrell Owens and Matt Jones.
While Owens has had a great career by most standards, he has also brought unnecessary drama into every locker room. If there was ever a place for drama to unfold, Dallas was the place with the best history for success to come even with ridiculous drama (check out the Cowboys of the '90s).
Now TO is in Buffalo of all places. Perhaps the biggest surprise signing of the off-season.
Then you have the saga of Matt Jones, at 6'6" 218 lbs he is one of the tallest receivers in the NFL. Yet, he remains unsigned by teams that could really use a sizable receiver.
The first team that comes to mind: the Cleveland Browns.
After trading away Kellen Winslow and releasing Joe Jurevicius, the Browns are left with Braylon Edwards (who is now being brought up in trade talks). In case you are wondering, that takes out quite a bit of height at those key receiving positions (Winslow is 6'4", Jurevicius is 6'5", and Edwards is 6'3").
While I do realize that height isn't everything—there is something to be said for having big, physical receivers.
Once a team starts to lose certain key players, typically they begin the search to replace them. Clearly, talent and ability will be the primary focal point followed closely by background checks, etc.
This is the problem with every 'dream-signing' in the offseason. Matt Jones was released after violating his probation. This seems to be the case for many talented players in the NFL.
As a fan sometimes it is hard to see why a team would avoid signing the top talent out there. Although the cases differ, the one constant seems to be a desire to avoid signing players with legal issues and giving locker room problems a few more chances. (Not to say that Adam (Pacman) Jones deserves any more 'chances'.)
After Donte Stallworth's issues and rumors of a Braylon Edwards trade, I would love to see the Browns go after a few players to be on the receiving end of a Brady Quinn pass.
Here is a list of notable WR's still unsigned as of 11 AM on Mar. 31, 2009.
- Matt Jones (6'6" 218)
- Hank Baskett (6'4" 220)
- Drew Bennett (6'5" 196)
- Reggie Williams (6'4" 212)
- Marvin Harrison (6' 185)
- Torry Holt (6' 190)
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