The final tune-ups are done. The NFL season is around the corner. Here are some takeaways from the latest news and action.
Houston Texans probably got a bargain by not forcing Mallett deal
Everybody was certain the Houston Texans planned to trade for New England Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. Head coach Bill O’Brien helped draft him while he was offensive coordinator there. The surprise is how long it took for a deal to happen. Most felt before or during the draft was the likeliest time. Instead things cooled down until late in the preseason. It’s unclear which team is more responsible for the delay, but if it was Houston it may have turned into a brilliant ploy. If they had made the deal back in May, it’s very likely they would’ve had to pay up a mid-round draft pick, somewhere between a 4th and a 6th. Instead, they and the Patriots gambled on his preseason performance, which didn’t turn out so well. The Texans got him for a conditional 7th rounder, as good a bargain as they can ask for a possible future starter.
Ray McDonald will become the first test dummy of new Goodell policy
If there is an idiot award to be handed out for the NFL, it most certainly has to go to defensive tackle Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers. Not only was he arrested on domestic violence chargers, but he managed to do so barely a week after the NFL announced sweeping changes to its punishment policy regarding such crimes. McDonald now figures to become the first punching bag for the new rule in the form of a six-game suspension, which would leave him one strike away from a lifetime ban out of the league. As it goes, no player could possibly have had a worse sense of timing.
Michael Sam would be smart to avoid St. Louis Rams anyway
With all due respect to the St. Louis Rams, it was probably a good thing that Michael Sam didn’t end up on their practice squad. First of all, the Rams depth chart is too steep for him to climb at defensive end anyway. However, another point to be made is that St. Louis, for all their talent doesn’t look like a contender in 2014 thanks to the injury to Sam Bradford. Sam is much better off staying patient and trying to sign with a team that not only needs pass rush help but also has a more realistic chance to reach January. Thus he gets the best of both worlds by being able to play and win. Still, kudos to the Rams for doing the right thing by drafting him.