Is it Monday? How can anyone be sure without replaying in your head the scores from the Sunday games? With the Super Bowl hangover in the past, the real offseason can begin, which means that NFL news will begin the transition from front office and coaching hirings to the scouting combines, free agency, and the draft. Most of the top coaching positions in the NFL have already been filled, including all of the head coaching vacancies. However, the St. Louis Rams are still in need of a defensive coordinator after breaking off the engagement with Rob Ryan, the recently hired New Orleans Saint. That leads us to our first rumor; Mike Singletary.
Last week , the Rams brought in Dick Jauron for an interview, suggesting that the former Cleveland Browns’ defensive coordinator might fit well into Jeff Fisher’s defensive scheme. However, after leaving without an offer, the search was still on for the right head to fill the spot. Jeremy Fowler, of CBS Sports, broke the news this weekend that the Rams had also interviewed Mike Singletary, the Hall-of-Fame linebacker and disgruntled ex-49ers’ head coach. Those in St. Louis remember Singletary well, watching him and his team implode in San Francisco, including the dramatic fallout with Vernon Davis. Singletary held an 18-22 record with the 49ers before being booted, only to watch his former team make it to the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl in the following two seasons.
Mike Singletary has never called in plays as a defensive coordinator, but was the centerpiece of the Chicago Bears defense in the 1980s. Coincidentally, Singletary was taken in the 1981 NFL Draft, five rounds before the Bears selected Jeff Fisher. The two were teammates for all of Fisher’s short career, which gives a bit more “umph” to this potential reunion. While Singletary has done admirably as the Vikings linebackers coach (as well as in Baltimore), the transition from positions coach to a coordinator is a big step. Some have suggested that Fisher would still be in charge of the defense, using Singletary as a mere puppet in his scheme while he learns the coordinator position. However, do we really want to deal with more “potential” at an essential coaching position? Shouldn’t we look for someone who can take responsibility away from Fisher, instead of pressing him into the “teacher” role? Just questions, and only time will reveal the answers…
Aside from filling out coaching vacancies, the week after the Super Bowl is also prime time for high profile roster casualties. While none have really popped up at this point, that does not mean rumors have not begun to spread. The most notable move of the weekend wasn’t a cut at all, but rather talks that the Minnesota Vikings would be putting Percy Harvin on the trading block, soliciting the troubled all-star for something in the range of a 2nd or 3rd round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
No one can deny the talent of Percy Harvin, being selected 22nd overall by the Minnesota Vikings in 2009, despite being red flagged for a number of issues. He had been cast in a negative light at the University of Florida for being egocentric, dramatic, and “immature.” If that wasn’t enough, he tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine, dropping him off many draft boards completely. However, “character issues” were not the only item plaguing Harvin. The all-purpose playmaker suffers from severe migraines, which were especially troubling during his sophomore season in the league. Illness, seemingly as the result of the migraines, hit him hard during mini camp and popped up periodically through the season, including forcing him to miss several practices before the Vikings playoff matchup with the New Orleans Saints. And while the migraines did not rear their ugly head in 2012, Harvin did end the season on IR with a non-surgical ankle injury.Some have suggested that Harvin being placed on the injury reserve had other implications, namely that there had been some head butting between Harvin and the coach staff. That would not be the first time we have heard this… Brad Childress.
Still, no one can deny Harvin’s ability on the field, both on offense and on special teams. The one-time Offensive Rookie of the Year and vote Pro Bowler (he declined the invitation) already has 29 touchdowns in his first four seasons in the NFL, including 5 return and 4 rushing touchdowns. Just as a receiver, he averages 61.1 yards per game, with an 11.8 yards per reception average. In 2011, Harvin caught 87 passes for 967 yards, and in 2012, prior to the ankle injury, was on pace for 100+ receptions and 1200+ yards. However, we all have seen he is much more than just a receiver…
However, what would a trade for Harvin mean in St. Louis. With Titus Young, Brian Quick, and Chris Givens essentially cemented on the roster, there are only a handful of spots left up for grabs. Most expect Steve Smith to be released, however there has been little talk about the contract situations for both Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola, both of which are unrestricted free agents. Gibson is, financially, a smudge in on the wallet of Stan “the Man” Kroenke and will have little to no effect on the St. Louis Rams tight cap situation. However, Amendola is due for a significant pay raise, likely in the range of #1 wide receiver money. While Amendola has been Sam Bradford’s favorite target, he has had his fair share of injury troubles, including a third of last season and all of the previous season. Bringing in Titus Young and Percy Harvin would likely spell the end of Danny Amendola’s career in St. Louis. Moreover, it would also likely drop receiver off the Rams’ draft board in April, which may or may not be a positive, depending on your infatuation with players like Tavon Austin and Keenan Allen.
Hey, at least we aren’t looking for a head coach, installing a new offensive playbook this offseason, or “on the clock” with the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft… right?