Get out, Rex. It's a trap.
I can see how you might have once looked at your $3 million dollar contract extension as an invitation to sit with the cool kids at lunch, but beware. They've all got milky mashed potatoes hidden in their hands and they're going to fling them at your face the minute you sit down.
Then they're all going to laugh at you. Again.
If you're not sure what I'm talking about, just close your eyes for a second and imagine this scene:
You break the huddle in your opening game and check the defense as you walk to the line of scrimmage.
Play clock is at 18...
Swiveling your head to the right, you see a familiar face at tight end. It's Desmond Clark. You feel relief because he's been your go-to man over the middle, especially late last season when you got a surprise second chance. You give a little nod. He knows what to do. “’Sup, Dez.”
Play clock is at 15...
Turning further to your right, things start to get uncomfortable. Staring back at you is what appears to be a linebacker, but his number is in the 80s. Then it hits you. That's no linebacker. That's Marty Booker, your No. 1 receiver.
And you remember seeing a No. 1 associated with his name in some other dream sequence during training camp. And then THAT hits you as well, and you can visualize his bio from the internet which read that Marty Booker played in 15 games last season, catching just one touchdown.
No. 1 receiver. One touchdown in 2007.
Play clock is coincidentally at 11...
Frantically spinning back to your left, you see another familiar face at tight end—Greg Olsen. A fan favorite, Olsen's good looks overshadow the fact that despite the acclaim, he crossed the goal line with the ball only twice last season. You just hope he can pick up the outside blitz.
Play clock is at 7...
Palms suddenly spilling sweat, you squint at the stranger coming in motion towards you. At 6-foot and 200 lbs, he looks like one of your neighbor's kids. Suddenly he smiles from ear to ear and you know its none other than Brandon Lloyd. Brandon "Goose Egg" Lloyd who, in his last 23 NFL games, has registered a combined zero touchdowns and one lost fumble.
Play clock is at 4...
Cedric Benson yells at you to hike the ball from behind. Two brand new offensive linemen creen their necks back and wonder what's going on.
The crowd starts to moan. You see flashes of these new faces, the ones who were signed to fill out the gaping holes on offense. The best players money could buy.
Play clock is at 3...
You crouch down to take the snap. It has to be a dream. There's no way your new skill players could possibly be worse than last year's. No way your Top 4 receivers combined for seven touchdowns in 2007. Not in the NFL. Not in a city like Chicago.
Play clock is at 2...
It's all clear now. You notice the fans and Jerry Angelo all have milky mashed potatoes in their hands. The boos are deafening. But what about the draft? Oh yeah, they used their first two picks on Henne and some tailback from Tulane. And look! They've got mashed potatoes, too!
Play clock is at 1...
Get out, Rex. It's a trap. This is all real and it’s all going to happen.
The names were not changed to protect the innocent. Lloyd and Booker really are on your team now. The most important season in your career depends on those guys getting open.
Hopefully you diversified your portfolio. Hopefully your 401k is not too aggressive.
There's no way out, Rex.
They're all going to laugh at you. Again.
Now try not to fumble the snap.