Mis-measured scoreboard aside, the new Cowboys Stadium looks pretty sweet. What better way to open up the new stadium than a battle against the division rival New York Football Giants.
Check out this great article on the new Cowboys Stadium. 20,000 standing room only tickets sold out. Maybe over 100,000 witnessing the 1st regular season game at the new Cowboys Stadium. Giants-Cowboys * Eli Manning-Tony Romo * Undefeated teams duking it out for bragging rights. You gotta love NFL rivalry football…
It’s official – – Plaxico Burress is going to jail. Burress agreed to a plea bargain that will send him to jail for 2 years on one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon. Burress faced a minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years in prison if he pressed his luck and went to trial. If he has good behavior in prison, he will likely only have to serve 20 months of the 24-month sentence. He will then be on probation for 2 years.
Burress and his attorney Benjamin Brafman played hardball with the New York City District Attorney’s office throughout the ordeal. That strategy looks like it failed them. Ever since Burress rejected an initial plea deal to a lesser charge that would have had him serve a 3-month sentence, D.A. Robert Morgenthau has made it his mission to make an example out of Burress.
Brafman had this to say about the deal – “This was not an intentional criminal act. In my judgment, a two-year prison sentence is a very severe punishment.” Let me get this straight – Burress took an unlicensed concealed fire arm into a New York City night club unintentionally? What, Burress just happened to forget that he had the gun in the waistband of his pants? This is ludicrous, and Burress deserves every single second that he spends in jail. Luckily, Burress only shot himself when the gun went off – what if it had hit the security guard standing within inches of Burress at the time the gun went off accidentally?! Good riddance Plaxico – at 34 coming out of jail – we doubt you’ll even have any juice left in the tank to make it back into the pros…
It’s a match made in heaven. Quarterback Eli Manning signed a new 6-year extension with the Giants which will pay him an average salary of $15.3 million over the next 6 years. The 6-year deal is worth $97 million, including an estimated $35 million in guaranteed money. After dealing with all the turmoil surrounding former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress’ indictments and current Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce’s involvement with Burress’ gun possession charges, the Giants welcomed a positive announcement about the team’s future.
The deal with make Manning the highest paid player in the NFL (Manning’s older brother Peyton makes an average salary of $14.17 million). Manning was in the last year of the deal he signed as a rookie back in 2004 – he would have made $9.4 million this year. Manning indicated that he wanted to remain a Giant forever, and the 2 sides have been negotiating the contract for months now. Manning led the Giants to the upset Super Bowl over the undefeated New England Patriots in 2008 – he was named the Super Bowl MVP that year. Manning made his first Pro Bowl in 2009, throwing for 3,238 yards, 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions (10 less interceptions than he threw in 2008). Manning has started 71 consecutive games as the Giants quarterback, which put him among the top 3 active quarterbacks at the end of last season. Manning also became the 1st Giants quarterback to throw for at least 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in 4 straight NFL seasons.
The stats don’t lie. Manning has lived up to the high expectations when the Giants swapped Phillip Rivers for Manning back in 2004. Manning has shone under the bright lights of Broadway and delivered a Super Bowl Championship for the New York Giants franchise. Manning works hard, stays out of trouble and delivers on the field both physically and as a team leader. The bold move paid off for the Giants brass, and it was smart for both sides to get a deal done before the season started to avoid any distractions. Is it too good to be true? Guess we’ll have to wait and see…
A grand jury indicted Plaxico Burress on 2 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and 1 count of reckless endangerment. The indictments stem from a night club incident in which Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg last November. Burress pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this year and is out on $100,000 bail. If convicted, Burress could spend a minimum of 3 1/2 years in jail according to federal sentencing guidelines. Burress testified at the grand jury hearing last week in order to try to convince the jurors to decline to indict him, but his efforts failed.
Current Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce was with Burress that night, and was also charged by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Pierce testified in front of the same grand jury for 2 days and the grand jury recently decided not to indict Pierce. Pierce was relieved, but expressed no regrets for his actions on the night of the incident (Pierce escorted Burress out of the night club and took the bloodied wide receiver to a nearby hospital for treatment. He then took Burress unlicensed gun to his own home in New Jersey and later returned the gun to Burress). Pierce had this to say about the ordeal: “I am not sorry for how I acted that night. I am not sorry for how I responded… I am sorry for putting myself in position that I had to respond the way I had to respond. There are a lot of reasons I learned from this. I take them to heart and I take them seriously, obviously. It has been a lot of ups and downs.” Enough said, but it will be interesting to see if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will take any action against Pierce for his involvement.
These guys are morons, especially Burress. It’s 36 hours before a big game against the division-rival Washington Redskins and the two are out late at a night club with a loaded weapon. Real smart, huh? Now maybe Pierce didn’t know that Burress was packing heat, and if he did know, he probably figured that Burress wouldn’t be dumb enough to shoot himself in the leg. But then again it is Burress. It’s not the 1st time that Burress has had to deal with controversy, and it likely will not be his last. At least the grand jury did not fall for Burress’s attempts to schmooze them towards not indicting him. I would love to see Burress spend some time in jail for his actions that could have ended up causing some serious damage to some unsuspecting clubgoer…
Plaxico Burress got some good news on Monday after a judge postponed his trial on gun possession charges until the end of September. Burress’ attorney Benjamin Brafman made even a bolder statement stating that it would be “inconceivable” for Burress to go to trial before the beginning of 2010. That means Burress will be available to play in the NFL during the 2009-2010 season, assuming Commissioner Roger Gooddell doesn’t take any NFL action against Burress prior to the start of the 2009-2010 NFL season.
Brafman also indicated that he didn’t think that the case would be resolved through a plea deal with prosecutors, so the case would likely go to a grand jury and then Burress would plead not guilty to the charges at trial. If convicted of the criminal possession of a weapon charge (Burress shot himself in the leg in a Manhattan night club on November 29, 2009), he could face up to 3 1/2 years in jail. But most first-time offenders for this charge in New York City do not serve jail time.
Burress’ agent Drew Rosenhaus does not believe Commissioner Goodell would take action under the NFL’s personal conduct policy against Burress until the legal system has adjudicated the case against Burress. Rosenhaus has indicated that several teams are interested in Burress and sources around the league have reported that the New York Jets, Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are potential suitors for Burress’ services. Burress has played 9 seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants. He has 7,845 receiving yards, 505 receptions and 55 career touchdown receptions.
We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything on the Burress-NFL front.
WOW – – show Albert the money!
The Washington Redskins – playing in the toughest division in the NFL with the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles – signed the biggest name in free agency to a lucrative 7-year, $100 million deal. Albert Haynesworth, an All-Pro Defensive Tackle who played for the Tennessee Titans for the first 7 years of his pro career, signed the long-term deal with the Redskins which included an NFL-record $41 million fully guaranteed signing bonus. Although Haynesworth only has 24 career sacks, 14.5 of those have come in the last 2 NLF seasons, with a career high 8.5 sacks in 2008. During the 2008 NFL season, Haynesworth also had 75 tackles, 22 quarterback pressures, four forced fumbles and 7 tackles for losses. The 27-year old lineman is 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, so he has had his share of injury problems in his career – he hasn’t played in all 16 games in a season since his rookie 2002 season. Haynewsworth has also been known to take a play off here or there, but those concerns were not enough to prevent Redskins Owner Dan Snyder from loosening those purse strings to land the big man in the middle.
Snyder didn’t stop there. He also re-signed free agent cornerback DeAngelo Hall to a 6-year, $54 deal. The Redskins acquired Hall after the Oakland Raiders released him during the course of the 2008 NFL season and he had 25 tackles and 2 interceptions in the Redskins’ final 7 games. Hall passed Carlos Rogers on the depth chart and even started the last 4 games of the season. Hall’s deal includes a $22.5 guaranteed signing bonus – this after the 25-year old earned a whopping $24 million signing bonus from the Raiders in the off-season preceding the 2008 NFL season.
The Redskins’ moves will send shivers down the spines of NFC East opponents. Now the likes of Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Donovan McNabb will have to deal with the Haynesworth Affect in the middle of the defensive line twice each year. You better believe that those 3 teams are already watching film and coming up with counter-measures to try to offset the havoc Haynesworth tends to create for other team’s offensive units.
The New York Giants have designated Brandon Jacobs as their 2009 franchise player. What does it all mean? Jacobs is guaranteed a 1-year salary of $6.6 million with the New York Giants. If another NFL teams signs Jacobs, the Giants can either match the offer, or get 2 1st-round draft picks in return. Jacobs has been the Giants leading rusher in each of the last 2 seasons. In 2008, Jacobs led the team with 1,089 yards rushing on 219 carries. He also scored a team high 15 touchdowns. In 2007, Jacobs rushed for 1009 yards on 202 carries with 4 touchdowns.
The Giants do have another 1,000-yard rusher to contend with – Derrick Ward. Ward rushed for 1025 yards on 182 carries. He also caught 41 passes for 384 yards receiving. He is also an unrestricted free agent.
The Giants can still negotiate with both players, perhaps signing each to a long-term deal. But at least they have something locked up on the running back end with Brandon Jacobs.
The Philadelphia Eagles had done it during the regular season – handing the Giants their only home loss at the Meadowlands during the 2008-9 NFL season. But could they do it on the big stage, in front of a national audience in the NFL divisional playoffs? Of course they could.
The Eagles defeated the Giants 23-11 with a dominating defensive performance and an offense that did just enough to send the Eagles to within 1 victory of the Super Bowl. First the defense – the Eagles held the Giants to just over 300 yards and only 16 first downs. While the Giants did have their chances, the Eagles held the Giants to just 3 field goals and only 3 points in the 2nd half. On 2 consecutive possessions in the 4th quarter, when the Giants needed just a yard or 2 to keep drives going on 4th down, the Eagles front line surge prevented the Giants from gaining any yards at all, solidifying the road victory. Eli Manning had an awful day – 15 of 29 passing, 169 yards, 2 interceptions, 0 touchdowns. His 40.7 passer rating a clear indication that the Giants passing attack is much much different without a playmaker like Plaxico Burress lining up to stretch the field. Brandon Jacobs did manage 92 yards rushing on 19 carries and Derrick Ward added 12 rushes for 46 yards, but the Giants could never seem to do enough to advance to pay-dirt.
Although Donovan McNabb didn’t have a great statistical game, he did enough with the chances given to the Eagles offense. McNabb completed only 22 of 40 passes for 217 yards. He had 1 touchdown pass to Brent Celek which increased the Eagles lead to 9 points on the 1st play of the 4th quarter. He also rushed for a touchdown in the 1st quarter which gave the Eagles their first lead of the game at 7-3. But he did throw 2 interceptions, which brought his passer rating down to 58.0. The Giants defense also kept Bryan Westbrook in check – 18 carries for 36 yards and 2 catches for 10 yards. Westbrook was the big difference in the Eagles win over the Giants in December, so the Giants did do a good job of containing him in the playoffs.
At the end of the day, though, it was the Eagles defense and an efficient McNabb that made all the difference on this cold January Sunday. McNabb has now led his team to 5 NFC Championship Games in the last 8 years. The other 3 seasons, McNabb was either hurt or dealing with the Terrell Owens saga which divided the team midway through the season. For a player who was benched by his coach at halftime of an embarrassing defeat in Baltimore on November 23rd and who has endured much criticism from the Philadelphia media and fans alike, McNabb continues to perform at a high level each and every year. He is this generation’s John Elway (at least until Elway won his 2 Super Bowls in his last 2 years with the Broncos). McNabb has led his Eagles to only 1 Super Bowl during those 5 NFC Championship Games and the Eagles ended up losing that Super Bowl back in 2004 to the New England Patriots.
Next up for the Eagles is the NFC Championship Game against the Arizona Cardinals on the road in Phoenix. Can the Eagles win 3 road games in a row like the Giants did last year to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl? Only time will tell. But if Donovan McNabb has anything to say about it, I’d put my money on McNabb and the Eagles stifling defense. We’ll get to see McNabb on the NFL’s biggest stage for a 2nd time, and maybe this will be the year that McNabb and the Eagles get that elusive NFL Championship. Hey, the Phillies won the World Series in October 2008 – why can’t the Eagles win the Super Bowl in February 2009?