Monday, March 3, 2008

Roethlisberger Re-Upped, Other Signing News & Notes

Big Ben is now making big bucks, per the Rocky Mountain News. The Steelers QB and motorcycle enthusiast signed an eight-year, $102 million extension that will keep him in Pittsburgh black and gold through 2015, and includes over $36 million guaranteed money. Just think of how many motorbikes that'll buy! Hopefully, now that he doesn't have to, hem, pinch pennies, he can buy a few helmets to go with it. But this is a show of commitment by the Steelers to their playmaker, seeing how much space he'll now be taking up on the Pittsburgh payroll, and exceeds even the $98 million deal Manning signed with the Colts in '04. Steelers fans probably think it's worth it. Roethlisberger has proven what he can do for them, and this will move him further toward his stated wish of wanting to be like "the Dan Marinos, like the John Elways, guys who played with one team their whole career." (Props on citing Elway, Ben, always a good idea). Still, you'd think they'd spend a little of this money on guys who can actually protect Roethlisberger, who was sacked a whopping 47 times last season.

As for other market rumblings, Asante Samuel was snapped up by the Eagles almost as soon as free-agency period opened, despite some talk about the Saints being the front-runner. Randy Moss has said he is frustrated with the Patriots' lack of motion on getting a new contract hammered out after they declined to franchise-tag him, and that's led to some horrifying (if you're a Patriots fan or a fan of a team in the NFC East not Dallas) rumors of him landing with the Cowboys. Moss and Terrell Owens on the same team? Can the world take the united forces of douchebaggery (more than usual, that is) emanating from Texas? Will Moss yank out a machete if Romo throws to T.O. more often? Oy vey. I wouldn't envy anybody in that clubhouse if this should somehow take place.

Broncos DT Marcus Thomas has fallen back into iniquity with his (non) rocket-scientist friends, and was arrested after he was in the car with a friend who was busted for coke. Thomas's problems go back to his playing days at UF, where Urban Meyer was so convinced that he was hanging out with the wrong sort that he tried to stop him from going home. Yet again, it's the same old song, that Thomas is hanging out with all the wrong kinds of people, and he needs to wake up and realize that he's an NFL athlete and fulfilling the dream of playing pro sports isn't going to last forever. Dump those losers and put in some actual effort to change, Marcus... Unfortunately, being an NFL athlete these days entails being busted for just about every offense under the sun, so maybe he's taking notes. Thomas is also lucky he plays at DT, and behind him is The Ghost of Matt Lepsis (switched to the D-line instead of the O-line since there's practically no one else) and if we cut him, we'd be in even more dire straits than we are now. Denver is not going to have any leeway to point and snicker at the Falcons and Bengals if their offseason of arrests keeps up. Oy.

The Broncos also signed WR Keary Colbert, formerly of the Panthers, to a three-year contract. Colbert is only 25 and was a second-round pick out of USC, and had 47 catches in 2004, which he hopes to replicate in competing for the #2 WR job. This isn't exactly a stellar pickup, but the team is being quiet in free agency and hoping to get enough selections to address all their needs in the draft. (They did, however, sign Seattle linebacker Niko Koutouvides, Pro Bowler Lofa Tatupu's backup and special-teams ace, since they need somebody, anybody, to plug in the D-line). Brandon Stokley is not an every-down receiver and therefore will be in the #3 spot, no matter what that article says. Also, Denver has a surfeit of DEs with Jarvis Moss's return and Elvis Dumervil entrenched, plus re-signing Engelberger and Ebenezer Ekuban (who didn't play last year due to injury). Dumervil and Moss, if he's healthy, figure to be the starters on the frontline corners.

No comments: