A Quick Glance at the NFL Off-season

The city of Miami is in for more hard times as far as football is concerned. Just when things appeared to be looking up for the Miami Dolphins last year after they concluded the NFL by winning six consecutive games, they acquired Daunte Culpepper, the former Minnesota Vikings one-hit wonder.

Culpepper has produced some impressive stats over his career, but he has also caused turmoil within the locker room. Even before the famous ‘sex boat scandal’ that Culpepper was involved in, he had public feuds with the Vikings owners as well as other players, including former teammate Randy Moss.

In eight full years in the NFL, Culpepper’s numbers have been erratic as he has only produced three solid seasons, all in which he had Randy Moss as a receiver. Last year, before his season was ended due to an injury, Culpepper had thrown six touchdown passes and twelve interceptions in only seven games. A dramatic turnaround in performance such as this leads one to believe that Moss played a substantial role in Culpepper’s success, as he appeared forlorn without him.

The Miami Dolphins do not have a franchise receiver that is of Moss’ caliber, so the likelihood of Culpepper putting up 39 touchdowns and 11 interceptions like he did in 2004 is slim.

The Dolphins have been in need of a prolific quarterback ever since Dan Marino hung up his helmet eight years ago. They have been through Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas, Brian Griese, A.J. Feeley, and Gus Frerotte, and have yet to find that stability they had with Marino. If coach Nick Saban expects Culpepper to follow in Marino’s footsteps, then he will be deemed erroneous.

The New York Giants have acquired former Pro Bowl linebacker Lavar Arrington from the Washington Redskins. Arrington has the potential to be a dominating defensive presence, but he often feuded with Redskins personnel.

The Arizona Cardinals may have had the most productive off-season of any other team. By signing four-time Pro Bowl running back Edgerrin James and drafting 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart, the Cardinals organization have given fans in the Southwest aspirations for a brighter future.

The Cardinals franchise has only been victorious in two post-season games in their 87-year history. Now, it’s been reported that the Cardinals have sold out of season tickets.

The Dallas Cowboys may have taken a substantial risk by signing the tremendously talented, yet assiduously controversial Terrell Owens. Owens has displayed signs of emerging as the preeminent receiver in the NFL, but his self-indulgent demeanor has cast a negative light on the 11-year veteran. Can Owens and head coach Bill Parcells co-exist, or will Owens swiftly wear out his welcome in Dallas?

The Carolina Panthers also took a risk when they signed wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson. Johnson hasn’t caused the ruckus that Owens has, but he has the tendency to bring about turbulence within the locker room. And with Steve Smith as the Panthers go-to guy, Johnson must accept the fact that he will not be Jake Delhomme’ s preferred target.

Brett Favre will return for at least one more season. The legendary quarterback kept the Packers in limbo as he contemplated retirement.

The Steve McNair/Tennessee Titans saga has continued on throughout the NFL off-season. Several weeks ago, it was reported that McNair was prohibited from working out at the Titans facility. It was speculated that McNair would be released or traded. In fact, the Baltimore Ravens has revealed interest in the eleven-year veteran. But Titans coach Jeff Fisher has expressed interest in retaining McNair. Can you say confusing?

The most unanticipated off-season move ensued on NFL Draft day when the Houston Texans passed up on an opportunity to draft running back Reggie Bush. Bush has been tabbed as a once in a lifetime franchise player, and could have the same impact on an organization as Michael Jordan did for the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. Instead, the Texans drafted Defensive Lineman Mario Williams. Even though Williams wasn’t near as ballyhooed as Bush, the Texans believe that he will dramatically enhance their defense.

What became the Texans loss ended up as the New Orleans Saints gain. After playing the 2005 season without a home field, the franchise is now on the upswing. The fans in the Big Easy are euphoric now that Bush will play in New Orleans.

Stay tunes gridiron fans, there will be additional off-season transactions ahead!

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