December 14, 2017

Only 4 Games To Go!

Normally when I write these articles, I do an introduction of who is playing who and what they did the week before.  Then, the paragraphs that follow usually have something to do with how a drive ended.  Was there a field goal?  A touchdown?  Maybe there was a turnover.  Well, there was a lot of scoring in this game.  Below you will see a list of all the scoring plays.

1st quarter

Tre Mason caught a 35-yard pass from Shaun Hill for a touchdown.  Greg Zuerlein made the point after.

Hill scored on a two-yard run.  Zuerlein made the point after.

Tavon Austin scored on an 18-yard run. Zuerlein made the point after.

2nd quarter

Mason scored on an 89-yard run.  Zuerlein made the point after.

Cory Harkey caught a four-yard pass for a touchdown.  Zuerlein made the point after.

Zuerlein kicked a 38-yard field goal.

4th quarter

Mason scored on an eight-yard run.  Zuerlein made the point after.

Trumaine Johnson scored on a 43-yard interception return.  Zuerlein made the point after.

Those are all the scoring plays for the Rams.  Now, what about all the scoring plays for the Raiders?  Well, I’d like to talk about that.  But I can’t.  That’s because they didn’t score a single point.  They played so badly that they made a team with a four and seven record look like future Super Bowl champions.  After a good win in the previous week against the Chiefs, the Raiders came out looking flat, uninterested and stupid.  So, what’s your excuse this time?  You don’t like domes?  You can’t win in the central time zone?  What really is disturbing is that these “Raiders” got paid to play that badly.  Must be nice.

There’s some interesting stats from this game.  The Raiders had the ball for nearly 37 minutes and ran 75 plays.  The Rams had the ball for 23 minutes and ran only 49 plays.  Despite having the ball for such a short amount of time, they out-gained the Raiders in total yards 348-244.  The Rams averaged 7.1 yards per play while the Raiders averaged 3.3 yards.  The biggest stat of all is turnovers.  The Rams didn’t turn the ball over and the Raiders turned the ball over five times.

It was the same old garbage.  Offensive coordinator Greg Olson was his usual idiotic self and did his usual horrible play calling.  How many times are we going to see McFadden run up the middle for a gain of two?  Head coach Tony Sparano looked like he’d rather be in Miami.  After the game, he said the team would “bounce back.”  Yeah.  Sure they will.  Actions speak louder than words, Mr. Sparano.  A few weeks ago, I mentioned Derek Carr having a “deer in headlights” expression in his eyes.  Well, this time, his eyes were even wider.  He was running for his life and was sacked several times.  Matt Schaub replaced him and didn’t fare any better.  It was truly a horrible game to witness.  Up next is a home game against the San Francisco 49ers.  They got beat up pretty badly on Thanksgiving by the Seattle Seahawks and they really need a win to stay in the playoff hunt.  If the Raiders play as badly as they did against the Rams, the 49ers will have no trouble getting a win.  Until then, take it easy.

The Fed Up Raider Guy

Rams 42, Bears 21: Dome and Doubtful

The Chicago Bears played their worst game of the season on Sunday, losing 42-21 to the Rams in St. Louis but still held ground in the playoff race because the NFC North is about as solid as Derrick Rose’s knees.

The Bears should have won this game if you consider several things: One, they were playing the Rams.  Two, they were playing the Rams.  And three, Bears quarterback Josh McCown completed 36 of 47 passes for 352 yards, two touchdowns and one interception whereas Rams signal-caller Kellen Clemens completed just 10 passes for 167 yards, one score and no picks.

McCown’s rating was 102.4, Clemens tallied 86.7.

The NFL is supposed to be a pass-happy, quarterback league and when your guy nearly doubles the other guy you should win.  However, someone forgot to tell the Bears that you can still do something called run the ball and the Rams obliterated their northern visitors in this regard, outrushing Chicago, 258-80.

The Rams rush parade began on the their third play from scrimmage when receiver Tavon Austin sprinted untouched for a 65-yard score leaving Bears defenders grasping and gasping in his wake.  It was pretty much downhill from there.

Actually, the Bears didn’t play too badly for stretches of this thing.  McCown, whose solid play is now expected and not surprising, kept Chicago close and the Bears were only down by six with seven minutes to play after Michael Bush ran for a one-yard score.  But it was a run by Mr. Bush a few minutes previous which may have sealed the Bears’ fate.

The Bears trailed 24-14 midway through the third quarter when, after a very long, impressive drive to open the second half, they had first-and-goal from the St. Louis four.  What followed was two incomplete passes, a McCown scramble to the one and then a Bush run.  Or rather, a Bush pancake.  Michael got hogtied and assaulted by Rams linebacker Jo-Lunn Dunbar for a four-yard loss.  The Rams took over on downs and marched for a field goal and a 27-14 lead.

Can’t score from the four?  Can’t get it in from the one?  Didn’t want a good ‘ol field goal?  The shame in this for the Bears is it keeps happening.  Two weeks ago the Bears lost to the Lions, 21-19, because they couldn’t convert a two-point conversion when Bush got destroyed in the backfield.  The Lions seemed to know exactly what was coming and the Rams must have watched enough tape because Dunbar did, too.  Bears coach Marc Trestman has made his bones over the years by authoring solid passing attacks and making smart decisions.  He hasn’t suddenly gotten dumb but he is suddenly being caught making the wrong call far too often.  And when you keep making the wrong call it looks like you’re guessing.  And guessing badly.

It seemed over at this point but it wasn’t.  Devin Hester came to the rescue when the future Hall-of-Famer returned a punt 62 yards for a score to make it 27-21.  But wait, there’s a flag.  Holding on Bears blocker Craig Steltz.  The Bears would then end up scoring on that drive on Bush’s touchdown but it was seven minutes later.   And Bush’s TD was a minute after a McCown TD pass was called back because of a holding penalty.

The Bears racked up 84 yards in penalties on Sunday to just 39 for the Rams.  This was one week after the Bears out-flagged Baltimore 111-46 (but won.)  The Bears suddenly look like a sloppy team.  And, considering the Bears’ onslaught of injuries, when you put sloppy on top of unlucky you either get a really funky sandwich or a suddenly slipping football team.

Those injuries are a big part of the reason the Bears cannot stop the run.  It’s a reason, but not an excuse.  And if it is an excuse, well then just shut up because this is the NFL which stands for No excuses you whining little Fink, you just Lost again.

A St. Louis gentleman by the name of Benny Cunningham ran 13 times for 109 yards and a score against the Bears.  He then signed up for two weeks of standup in the Catskills.

Cunningham is a rookie out of Tennessee State who had never run for more than 72 yards in an NFL game.  His jersey number is 36.  And he torched the good kids for 109 yards?

Zac Stacy dinged the Bears for 87 yards and a TD on just 12 carries.  At least he wears #30 which looks a little more like a running back number and less like a third string safety.   Stacy is also a rookie.  From Vanderbilt.  Ouch and ouch.

Next week the Bears go to Minnesota to play the Vikings and a certain chap named Adrian Peterson.  Mr. P. ran for 146 yards against the Packers in a 26-26 tie on Sunday, (Sidebar: How do you feel about ties?  Who wants to sit in the cold for four hours in Green Bay and then go home not a winner nor a loser but just a victim of frostbite?  This, of course, almost happened in the Broncos-Patriots game as well but, thanks to Wes Welker, someone finally lost.  Sorry, Wes.  You’re a good player.  Still can’t decide, though, whether New England’s victory was epic or Denver’s collapse was pathetic. But should the NFL change to college rules for overtime?  Heck no, Old Man NFL doesn’t like things like that.  Why not?  It would be fun as hell to see teams trade scores.  The league wants to emphasize offense anyway so why not?)

…Anyway, where were we?  Oh yes, Adrian Peterson, who is second in the league in rushing, ran for 100 yards against the Bears in September and had two 100-plus yard efforts against Chicago last year when the Bears’ defense was actually good.  So what can happen this coming Sunday?  There is serious discussion among Bears fans (and probably Vikes fans, too) that Peterson could do something historic or, from the Bears’ perspective, tragic, and run for 300 yards.  This would break his own NFL record by four yards and, obviously, make him the first 300-yarder in league history.  Will it happen?  The Bears are allowing 145 rushing yards per game, worst in the NFL.  It can happen.

Despite Sunday’s kick in the grizzlies, which dropped the Bears to 6-5, they are not out of the playoff race.  In fact, they’re right in the thick of it because no one in the NFC North won on Sunday.  As mentioned, the Vikings and Packers settled for a draw and the Detroit Lions lost to the suddenly seaworthy Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 24-21.  The Lions might be better than the Bears, they beat them twice, but they’re not good.

But in the NFC North good might not be needed.  Last year the Bears won 10 games but were left home for the playoffs.  This year, nine wins might get you fitted for the NFC North crown.  Maybe eight.

It’s a hill, not a mountain. But it’s full of rocks, broken glass, cigarette butts and bleeding dreams.  Be careful where you step.  But start running.  Tackle, too.

****Extra Football Writing At No Charge****

Let’s give some credit to Jeff Fisher’s Rams. They’re without their top QB, Sam Bradford, but have won two straight (including a 38-8 thumping of the Colts two weeks ago) and are now 5-6 and possess an outside chance at the postseason. Too bad they play in such a tough division.

Speaking of the Colts, what has become of them?  They were swinging big balls all season long but have now lost two of three, the blowout against the Rams and then this weekend getting eaten alive, 41-11, in Arizona by the Cardinals.  Let’s talk about those Cardinals.  How many NFL fans outside of Arizona, maybe even inside Arizona, realize the Redbirds are 7-4?  Problem is, like the Rams, the Cardinals are in the NFC West behind the Seahawks and 49ers.  Arizona plays those two teams in the last two weeks of the season and playoff possibilities could be at stake for all involved.

This past weekend’s NFL games were played in the aftermath of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  Back in ’63, Commissioner Pete Rozelle made the decision to play a full slate of games two days after the President’s death and was roundly criticized then and in the years after and Rozelle later said he made a mistake.  Rozelle had been told that JFK would have wanted the games played.  The young President loved football.  He was due to flip the coin for the Army-Navy game that weekend.  That game was delayed.

Eventually everything went back to normal.  But it never went back to the way it was.   — TK


Bears 23, Rams 6 (As Seen on TV!)

The Chicago Bears beat the St. Louis Rams, 23-6, at Soldier Field on Sunday in a game so boring Lake Michigan fell asleep in the third quarter.  Actually, it wasn’t that drab if you like defense, specifically the Bears defense, which entered the season as the ugly sister to Chicago’s offense but is quickly becoming Marcia while Jay Cutler and friends look more like Jan, or possibly even Cindy or Alice, before any of them have had a bath.

“The Brady Bunch” was cancelled in 1974, which is also the last time Danny Amendola had two good games back-to-back.

With ten days to sort things out after the 23-10 nose hair yank they suffered in Green Bay, Chicago’s offense was expected to get funky and unforgiving against a Rams team that scares no one except its own ticket office.  Instead, Cutler – while abstaining from physical assaults on his linemen – was unable to get much going all afternoon and so the Maybes of the Midway relied on their defense which held Rams quarterback Sam Bradford to 152 yards while intercepting him twice, slowed an already gimpy Steven Jackson to 29 yards and also flicked a booger at a life-size cutout of Marc Bulger.

Bears running back Michael Bush was good enough in place of the injured Matt Forte, accounting for 73 total yards and Bears receiver Brandon Marshall (five catches, 71 yards) continues to make Chicagoans happy that Roy Williams was told to wait outside while they changed the locks at Halas Hall.  But Chicago’s offense as a whole is still – like the work ethic of Greece or the face of Jerry Jones – a project under construction.

Timeout: During one sequence late in the first quarter Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan intercepted Cutler and returned it about 30 yards before fumbling it, and the ball was then picked up by Bears receiver Devin Hester who lugged that bean about 30 yards himself back in Chicago’s proper and desired direction before he then fumbled and it was recovered by the Rams.  “Yakety Sax” played in the background during the entire sequence and continued to blare from the mind’s speakers as the replacement refs tried to figure out if the ball belonged to the Bears, the Rams or if perhaps eating all that spicy soup in pregame might have been a mistake.  Eventually, after a long review which included a commercial break and two showings of “Dr. Shivago,” Mr. Official declared, and I’m not kidding, that the ball belonged to “Saint Louis.”  But, he said, “Saint Louee” rhyming it with “fooey” or Huey, or Dewey.

It’s time for the real officials to come back and bring the cocktail weenies with them.

The Bears offense eventually started cooking with gas, or at least with the lights on, with Mr. Bush scoring on a three-yard bulldoze in the second quarter.  And Chicago always has Mr. Reliable, kicker Robbie Gould, who connected on three field goals.  But Chicago’s second touchdown of the game came courtesy of the defense as safety Major Wright returned a Bradford interception 45 yards for a score in the fourth.  Touchdowns are touchdowns are touchdowns.  So back off.

Eight miles from Soldier Field another “Saint Louee” team, the Cardinals, scored as many points as the Rams, beating the Cubs, 6-3.  What would be worse: watching an entire Cubs game or giving Rex Ryan a foot rub?

The Bears aren’t pretty but neither is Jessica Biel’s thumb up-close.  But zoom out and what do you see?  Jessica’s whole hand, which will soon have a wedding ring on it thanks to that demon, Justin Timberlake.

What does a wider view of the 2-1 Bears reveal?  We’ll find out more in Dallas next Monday night.  The stars will be out.  Hopefully the Bears will be chewing on them.



Franchises Returning to Their Former Homes

This Sunday’s St. Louis Rams vs. Cleveland Browns game isn’t generating a lot of buzz. But the significance of the game shouldn’t be lost on the city of Cleveland.

The Rams who were originally founded in Cleveland, will be making their 11th trip back to the city Cleveland. The Rams have a record of 4-6 in Cleveland, since they left the icy shores of Lake Erie in 1946.

The Rams are one of ten current NFL teams, to have ever played an official NFL game in a city they use to call home.  These teams have a winning record of 48-42 in their former cities.

Franchises Records at their Former Home

Team Former City Moved W-L 1st Game Back
Cardinals Chicago 1960 3-6 1965: Bears L 13-34
St. Louis 1988 7-3 1998: Rams W 20-17
Chargers Los Angeles 1961 7-10 1970: Rams L 10-37
Chiefs Dallas 1963 1-4 1975: Cowboys W 34-31
Colts Baltimore 1984 4-2 1998: Colts L 31-38
Lions Portsmouth 1934 1-0 1934: Cin Reds W 38-0
Raiders Oakland 1982 Didn’t play in Oakland until they moved back. ¹
Los Angeles 1995 Haven’t played in Los Angeles since.
Rams Cleveland 1946 4-6 1950: Browns L 28-30
Los Angeles 1995 Haven’t played in Los Angeles since.
Ravens Cleveland 1996 8-4 1999: Browns W 41-9
Redskins Boston 1937 7-4 1944: Bos Yanks W 21-14
Titans Houston 1997 6-3 2002: Texans W 13-3

¹ The Raiders played an exhibition game in Oakland in 1989, they lost to the Houston Oilers 21-23.


Taking A Knee

The 0-4 Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams have several options.  They can either play out the string while trying to grasp a modicum of dignity and hint of respectability, they can ask for admission into the Pac 10, or pro football’s quartet of bottom feeders might want to steal from the playbook of Morrill High School.

The Morrill Lions, from western Nebraska, have cancelled their season – and no one can blame Curtis Painter.

The Lions mercifully pulled the plug on Tuesday when its 18-member team was reduced to 12, and that 12th guy doesn’t even like football.

As reported by the “Associated Press,” Morrill’s starting quarterback broke a hand and another player fractured an ankle in last week’s game and parents were concerned that a friendly football season could quickly devolve into something immoral, if not illegal.  And so the cheerleaders (did they have more than one?), players and fans packed it in and will wait until next year.

No doubt the Morrill Lions gave it their best in going 0-5 and getting outscored 243-32.  One is reminded of T.C. Boyle’s gritty short story, “56-0,” about an overmatched college football team finishing the season in a cold, muddy and desperate scramble for pride.  But, like W.C Fields once said, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”

Part of Morrill’s problem was that the school was out of its league, almost literally.  Morrill played in the smallest division in Nebraska that plays 11-man football and school officials say next year they’ll probably move down to Eight-Man football which has got to be more fun anyway.  Morrill’s coaches told the “A.P.” they were saddened that more of the school’s 50 boys didn’t go out for the team but who knows? Maybe Morrill just has more fun things for a young lad to do on his weekends than get his head bashed in on every play.

Maybe Morrill just needs a little updating.  The school’s website still wishes everyone “a good summer” and the lunch menu is from last May.  But at least the Lions dined well that spring: Taco Salad, Pigs-in-a-blanket and Biscuits & Gravy are some of the offerings on the cafeteria menu. Unappetizingly, though, in the middle of the month the culinary choices are narrowed down to just one – “Cook’s Choice.”  Do you get the impression that “Cook’s Choice” consists of whatever tacos, biscuits and pigs can fit in a blender or on a slice of toast?

Morrill may feel forlorn but it isn’t alone.  In Amarillo, Texas, Arbor Christian Academy has also punted away the 2011 season after going 0-6 including last week’s 58-0 assault against Memphis.  Like Morrill, Arbor Christian now has downsizing on its mind as the school will switch to Six-Man in 2012.

The Vikings, Dolphins, Rams and Colts have looked like they’re playing with just six or eight guys this year so maybe they can jump leagues as well.  Maybe the NFL can implement a policy similar to that of European soccer leagues (“football associations”).  Imagine if promotion and relegation existed in all American sports – the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Cubs and Golden State Warriors would probably be on Morrill or Arbor Christian’s schedule by now and the New England Patriots and New York Yankees would only play each other, perhaps in a golden palace owned by Scarlett Johansson and Hugh Jackman.

Or, maybe Morrill and Arbor Christian can get some special exemption and combine forces and play 14-man football while the other team only plays 11 but gets all the biscuits and gravy it can handle.

We can’t help wonder if those in Minnesota, Miami, St. Louis and Indianapolis almost envy these high school kids.  Between the four NFL teams they’re already 0-16 and, shudder to think, since none of these fumbling four play each other this season, each of them could actually finish 0-16 themselves.  Fans in Morrill and Amarillo will be watching.  But how will they be rooting?


Trades Involving Big Name QB’s That Never Happened

It’s often mentioned that championship teams are built through the NFL draft.  It’s a fairly cliché statement, but it’s entirely true.  What’s often overlooked is that draft selections are only one aspect of the draft.  The ability of front office staffs to wheel and deal during the draft can also make lasting impacts on NFL teams.  The most impactful trades often involve quarterbacks.

There are a lot of trade rumors involving QB’s flying around draft weekend, and usually none of them end up true.  Imagine though if some of them did in fact become true.  The NFL landscape would certainly be different.  Listed below are some draft time trade rumors from the past 25 years (as reported by the major media) involving star QB’s, that never became true.


1983 NFL Draft – Rumored John Elway/#1 Pick Trades

Before the 1983 NFL draft, John Elway told the Baltimore Colts (owners of the NFL’s #1 pick) not to select him.  That’s because Elway wanted to play for a team located on the west coast, and if he was selected by the Colts, he insinuated he might abandon football, and pursue a career in baseball.  In the end, the Colts selected Elway, but soon after traded him to the Denver Broncos.  The rest is history.

With Elway’s strong statements before the draft, it appeared to the major media that the Colts would trade the #1 pick; thus trading the rights to select Elway.  The Los Angeles Raiders and San Diego Chargers were two teams mentioned as likely candidates to win the Elway sweepstakes.

The San Diego Chargers owned three picks in the first round, and were having difficulty signing All-Pro QB Dan Fouts to a new contract.  The Raiders had a solid veteran QB in Jim Plunkett, but Al Davis always liked to make a splash at the draft.

The Baltimore Colts were willing to trade the #1 pick/Elway to the San Diego Chargers for all three of the Chargers first round picks, but the Chargers were unwilling to give up the 5th overall selection.  Perhaps if the Chargers hadn’t signed Dan Fouts to a new contract the night before, the Chargers might have been more willing to give up that 5th overall pick.

There were a number of different rumored trade offers from the Raiders.  One scenario stated the Raiders were offering a number of top picks in the 1983 and 1984 drafts, as well as former first round selection in QB Marc Wilson.  Another rumor mentioned that the Raiders would consider trading future Hall of Fame RB Marcus Allen.  Lastly, it was also rumored that the Raiders were attempting to attain first round selections, in order to trade them for Elway.  Reportedly, the Raiders were offering RB Kenny King, G Mickey Marvin, and future Hall of Fame DE Howie Long to the Chicago Bears (6th pick) or the Philadelphia Eagles (8th pick).

The Dallas Cowboys were also rumored as being interested in Elway.  It was rumored that the Cowboys offered the Colts their top selection in the 1983 draft (23rd overall), and a number of veteran players, possibly QB Danny White and DT Randy White.

Lastly, despite Elway’s request to play for a team on the west coast, the New England Patriots were supposedly highly interested in selecting Elway.  It was rumored that the Patriots would offer the Colts their first round selections in 1983, 1984, and 1985, as well as a veteran player or another top selection.

In the end, the Denver Broncos were truly the dark horse candidate to get John Elway, and made out the best.

In hindsight, the Chargers should have traded all three first round selections for Elway.  The Chargers did pick up three solid players with their picks; LB Billy Ray Smith, RB Gary Anderson, and DB Gill Byrd.  However, none of those players had Hall of Fame careers.

The Cowboys also should have offered a bit more for Elway.  Although, if they did, I’m sure the team wouldn’t have gone through the collapse they did in 1988 and 1989; which ultimately led to the birth of a dynasty.  Who knows if it was even nothing more than a remote possibility, but the Patriots also should have made more of an effort to get Elway.

Meanwhile, it’s debatable whether the Raiders made the right decision by not trading for Elway.  The Raiders would go on to win the Super Bowl in 1983.  Without Marcus Allen and/or Howie Long, that probably doesn’t happen.   However, I’m sure the Raiders would have loved to have had Elway at QB with some of their more talented teams in the early 1990’s.

Lastly, the Colts would have been better off taking trade offers from any of the rumored trades, before actually selecting Elway.  Once they selected Elway, and he refused to play for them, their bargaining power was reduced significantly.  In the end, the Colts picked up an unproductive QB in Mark Herrmann, a talented tackle, albeit not a Hall of Famer in Chris Hinton, and a first round selection in the 1984 draft (used on G Ron Solt).


1987 NFL Draft – Rumored Steve Young Trades

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed QB Vinny Testaverde to a contract weeks before they would actually be able to select him #1 in the 1987 NFL draft.  This gave the Buccaneers a few weeks to shop around highly talented QB Steve Young.  Eventually, the San Francisco 49ers would pick up Young for second and third round picks.  However, the Green Bay Packers and the St. Louis Cardinals had also been in trade talks with the 49ers for Young.

After the draft, Packers head coach Forrest Gregg stated the 49ers asking price for Steve Young was too steep.  Meanwhile, the Cardinals elected to choose a QB in the draft by selecting Kelly Stouffer.

Looking back, the Packers should have realized the asking price for Steve Young wasn’t too steep.  However, they came out of it rather unscathed, with a smart draft selection of Don Majkowski, and a smart trade for Brett Favre.  The Cardinals however didn’t get so lucky.  Stouffer never played a snap with the Cardinals, refusing to sign with them.


1992 NFL Draft – Rumored Steve Young Trade

The San Francisco 49ers reportedly made a trade offer to the Los Angeles Raiders, in which they were going to trade the NFL’s top rated passer, Steve Young, for the Raiders first and second round selections, and WR Tim Brown.  49ers head coach George Seifert admitted the 49ers attempted to trade up in the draft, but didn’t get into the specifics on any trade offers they may have made.

The Raiders ended up picking defensive lineman Chester McGlockton with their first round pick, and the Raiders traded up in the second round to pick offensive lineman Greg Skrepenak.

Clearly, it looks like the 49ers benefited from this trade not occurring.  Steve Young continued to be one of the best QB’s in the NFL, and led the 49ers to a Super Bowl championship in 1994.

If the trade did go through, the 49ers would have had Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and most likely future Hall of Famer Tim Brown at the receiver’s positions.  Coincidentally, the two players would be paired together as Raiders during the 2001-2003 seasons.


1992 NFL Draft – Rumored Phil Simms Trades

What turned out to be a rumor with no legs, the New York Giants were reportedly interested in trading veteran QB Phil Simms, so they could move up in the 1992 NFL draft and select QB David Klinger.  The San Diego Chargers and Los Angeles Raiders were supposedly interested in Simms.  The Giants denied the rumor.  Simms remained with the Giants for a few more years and eventually won the starting job back.   Jeff Hostetler, the Giants starting QB at the time, would end up with the Raiders one year later.


1993 NFL Draft – Rumored Joe Montana Trades

If you thought the sight of Joe Montana in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform was strange, imagine how he would have looked in an Arizona Cardinals uniform, or a Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform.

The Buccaneers were the original front running team to get Joe Montana.  They had a surplus of draft picks, some youthful talent, and Montana worked with Buccaneers head coach Sam Wyche when Wyche was an assistant with the San Francisco 49ers.  But Montana had no interest in going to a team that wasn’t a contender, and chose against being traded to the Buccaneers.

Despite Montana’s request to go to Kansas City, it looked as if Montana would end up in a Cardinals uniform because they were offering more compensation for him.  The Cardinals were offering the 49ers their first round selection in the draft (20th pick).  At that point in the trade negations, no other team had even offered the 49ers a draft selection in the second round.

The Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Raiders also expressed interest in trading for Montana, but their type of offensive styles didn’t appeal to Montana.

Eventually, the 49ers and Chiefs came to an agreement.  The 49ers sent Montana, safety David Whitmore and their third round selection in the 1994 draft.  In return, the 49ers received the Chiefs first round draft pick (18th overall).

You can’t really fault the Buccaneers or Cardinals for not getting Montana.  Montana wanted to go to the Chiefs, and when the Chiefs offered enough compensation, a deal was made.  The Buccaneers and Cardinals were merely curious bystanders.


1995 NFL Draft – Rumored Mark Brunell Trades

In 1995, Mark Brunell wasn’t a household name; however some NFL teams recognized his talents, and were willing to take a chance on him.  The team Brunell played for, the Green Bay Packers, already had a talented and young QB on their roster in Brett Favre.

The Philadelphia Eagles actually had a deal in principle made with the Packers for Brunell, under the stipulation that they would be able to sign Brunell to a long term contract.  Brunell and the Eagles never reached a contract agreement, and the Eagles agreement to send their second and fifth round selections to the Packers fell through.

The St. Louis Rams were also reported as a team interested in Brunell.  In the end, the Jacksonville Jaguars sent their third and fifth round picks to the Packers for Brunell.

If the Eagles had been able to sign Brunell, it would have changed the franchise.  Brunell came into his own during the 1996 playoffs; during a time when the Eagles were struggling to find a suitable QB to lead their talented roster.


2010 NFL Draft – Rumored Ben Roethlisberger Trades

Coming off another off-season embarrassment relating to their franchise QB Ben Roethlisberger, it was rumored that the Pittsburgh Steelers were interested in trading him.

It was reported that the Steelers offered Roethlisberger to the St. Louis Rams as a way to attain the #1 pick in the draft.  However, the Rams had no interest in the trade, and selected QB Sam Bradford.

The Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders were also mentioned as possible trading partners with the Steelers for Roethlisberger.  The Steelers confirmed they had spoken to the Raiders about Roethlisberger, but denied speaking to the Browns.


One final note: If there is a big name QB with trade rumors attached to his name, it appears that the Oakland Raiders will always be interested.  Every QB on this list, with the exception of Mark Brunell, was of interest to the Raiders.


Andrew McKillop runs the sports research blog