NFL Offseason: How to Solve the Top 8 Controversies in 2011
The NFL offseason may not be filled with one-handed highlight grabs or overtime thrills, but it's still an intriguing time of year for teams and football fans alike.
While its primary purpose is to provide organizations with an opportunity to upgrade their rosters, it also serves as a period to cut any loose ties and fix any lingering issues.
This year's no different and, in fact, it's filled with more problems than in years past due to the ongoing lockout.
That said, here are the top eight controversies this offseason and my proposed solution to each of them.
NOTE: I'm only going to discuss player controversies, which means the lockout will not be included.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The Philadelphia Eagles were really fortunate last year with their quarterback situation. After they traded Donovan McNabb and then had Kevin Kolb get injured, many thought the Eagles might as well throw in the towel early.
However, Michael Vick stunned the world, playing at an MVP level. Just two years removed from being released from prison on dogfighting charges, Vick is the apparent the Eagles' franchise quarterback.
But where does that leave Kolb? He's still under contract and remains a reliable starter, which makes him one of the hottest trading commodities on the market for the several teams still searching for a signal caller.
While resting on the bench, his value will only diminish from here on out. So I'd actively pursue trade options, because he's currently overvalued and Philadelphia could end up getting a great deal.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
I refer to Albert Hayneworth as the $100 million mistake because ever since he signed that massive free agent contract two years ago, he's done absolutely nothing to prove he's earned it.
In fact, he's done exactly the opposite, as he's created tension in the locker room, attracted negative media attention and performed extremely poorly on the field.
Sure, he's a 4-3 defensive tackle forced to play nose tackle in a 3-4 defensive scheme. But when you're a professional, and one of the highest paid in the league, you better learn how to adjust.
The Redskins need to get him out of there as soon as possible even if it means cutting him.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Chad Ochocinco has tried out for an MLS team and attempted to ride a bull. The only thing he hasn't done is demonstrate any reason why the Cincinnati Bengals should bring him back, and perhaps he doesn't want to.
Either way, the Bengals seemed to have moved on, selecting Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green with the fourth overall pick in this year's draft.
So what should they do with Ochocinco? Well, I'd move him as far away from Green as possible in order to prevent his cancerous attitude from catching on.
Let's not forget he's a 6-time Pro Bowler so some teams will definitely be interested in his services. Whoever they may be, the Bengals better get on the phone and assemble a deal.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Reggie Bush may be a big-time celebrity with a big-time salary, but he's not matching it with big-time numbers on the field. That being the case, the Saints are looking to either restructure his contract or get rid of him completely. He's simply no longer worth what he's getting paid.
The Saints drafted Mark Ingram and can re-sign Pierre Thomas, so it's not like they have immediate concerns at the running back position. However, neither of them have the capability to do what Bush can. His impact on the field is invaluable, as he forces the opposing defense to game plan heavily against him, and he will always keep teams on their heels.
His versatility and explosiveness open up the offense and allow his teammates to flourish. I'd certainly look into redoing his deal, but I'd think long and hard before getting rid of him.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Is it Tebow time or not? The Broncos quarterback is one of the most popular athletes in the world and there are millions of fans rooting for him.
Of course, that doesn't equate into him being a player ready to take the reigns of a franchise. He took major strides and displayed tremendous promise for the future in his limited action last year.
After all he is a first-round selection, and Kyle Orton, while solid, is no superstar. So should John Elway pull the trigger and go with the former Gator star?
I personally wouldn't because I'm a believer in Orton and still think Tebow could use some more time before given the nod.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The Cincinnati Bengals are undergoing a complete offensive makeover and stamped the end of an era when they drafted Andy Dalton in the second round.
Ever since last season ended, Carson Palmer has been expressing his desire to leave the team and continues to demand a trade or his release.
Owner Mike Brown, as we all know, is one of the most stubborn people in the business and refuses to grant Palmer his wish.
But honestly at this point, they've already replenished their roster, and while Palmer's veteran leadership would help Dalton get accustomed to the pro game, the fact of the matter is they can afford to get rid of him.
That's why I say Brown must swallow his pride and do what's best for the team.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Plaxico Burress has been released from jail and is now looking for a job. We last remember him making the game-winning catch in the New York Giants' upset over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
It's highly unlikely the G-Men will take him back, so Burress will have to find another suitor, which is tough for any 33-year-old receiver let alone one who's got off-the-field issues and hasn't played a down in two years.
He's said that he doesn't want to play for Tom Coughlin, but he must understand that this isn't the time to be picky and start opening his mouth.
If Michael Vick can do it, I'm sure that Burress still has enough gas left in the tank to produce. If I were a team in search of a receiver, I'd at least look into Burress because he can probably validate as a quality No. 3, if not a secondary option for many teams.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Sometimes a relationship is too bent to mend, and when you bench a 6-time Pro Bowler then you better expect him to be disgruntled with the organization.
That's exactly what happened with Donovan McNabb last year, and his short tenure with the Washington Redskins is probably over.
He and coach Mike Shanahan were never on the same page, and it's probably best if they just part ways.
The team may not get a ton of value for McNabb especially after he finished with one of the worst seasons statistically in his career, but anything is better than just having him lie on the sidelines creating unnecessary distractions for a team in transition.