The First Power Rankings Are Out


It’s not even April.  The Draft is still a month away but one major website has already

published their first NFL power rankings.

I’m always intrigued by these.  Getting feedback from the media on your favorite team is interesting.  But then there’s this article from Yahoo! Sports.

After reading this, I’m reminded of two things – first, it’s too early to rank the teams and second, sometimes, these media types talk in circles.

Let’s start with what Mr. Robinson wrote about the Carolina Panthers:

"26. Carolina Panthers (7-9) – D.J. Hackett and Landon Johnson should be two very solid veteran additions. But the offseason departures (Kris Jenkins, Dan Morgan, Drew Carter, Justin Hartwig, DeShaun Foster and Mike Wahle) make this feel like a team in transition."

Yes, we’re ranked 26th out of 32 teams.  26th!!

We took the time to break down every move the Panthers have made last week (prior to the Hackett signing).  Things sure didn’t look that dire when we got to the end.  At least not bad enough to have our team ranked 26th.

Sure, Robinson makes a good point that letting go of guys like Jenkins, Hartwig and Wahle can hurt the team because they will lack depth.  But, honestly, letting go of Morgan’s injuries, Foster’s fumbles and Carter’s drops won’t exactly hurt the team in the long run.

Even more interesting is that he contradicts himself when talking about the Jets’ pickup of Jenkins – “The jury is still out on Damien Woody, Kris Jenkins and Bubba Franks. But if Kellen Clemens can’t turn the corner, the Jets are in for another long season.”

The jury is still out on Jenkins, huh?  I thought he was a major loss for the Panthers.  I’m confused.

And to have the Jets ranked ahead of nearly anybody is a slap in the face.  We’re not only ranked behind them but also sit on the list behind the likes of Chicago who have lost nearly every decent offensive player they had, Cincinnati and their near non-existent defense and St. Louis with their complete inability to block anybody – and I mean anybody!

Honestly, if I were to put together a power ranking today I might not have the Panthers in the top ten.  But I certainly wouldn’t have them ranked deep in the bottom third of the league either.  So much for early offseason power rankings.

Hey, we got some good news yesterday!

Roger Goodell has penalized the San Francisco 49ers for tampering with Bears’ linebacker Lance Briggs.  Seems they contacted his agent during the 2007 season which is a no no.

For their rule violation, the Niners will be forfeiting their fifth-round draft pick and will have to swap picks with Chicago in the third round.

What does this mean for us?  It means that the Panthers will move up one spot in the fifth round.  It ain’t much but it’s something!

As usual, we have more in Quick Hits…

Herm “You Play to Win the Game” Edwards is suggesting that the Bucs and Rams may have tampered with C Jeff Faine and K Josh Brown respectively.  Could more draft picks be taken away?

Michael Vick’s state dogfighting trial is set for is now set for June 27.  It had originally been set for April 2.  <Insert your own dog pun here.>

Don’t look now but Brett Favre has yet to file his official retirement paperwork.  When he does, the Packers will clear $11.4 off their payroll.  Ya’ don’t think…?  He couldn’t be…??  I don’t even want to ask.

The Cowboys have yet to approach restricted free agent DE Chris Canty about a contract extension.

The Rams have signed WR Reche Caldwell to a one-year deal worth $645,000.

Former Titans linebacker Gilbert Gardner has signed with the Lions.

Brandon Marshall (he’s the guy who fell due to a McDonald’s bag) plans to be ready for the Broncos’ training camp this summer.

The agent for C Matt Birk says his client isn’t skipping the Vikings’ offseason conditioning program over a contract dispute.

Coach Gary Kubiak insists that the Texans’ signing of Quinn Gray does not mean they’ll begin actively shopping Sage Rosenfels.

Rather than a new contract this year, the Jets may have given Laveranues Coles assurance that he’ll get a new deal or pay raise next season for reporting to the team’s offseason program.  Great!  Give the guy a pat on the back for showing up for work!

Vikings signed CB Benny Sapp, formerly of the Chiefs.

Free agent RB Verron Haynes is being sued by a Monroeville car dealership for allegedly defaulting on payments for a 2001 Aston Martin.

The Chargers plan to keep special teams ace Kassim Osgood for two more seasons, then let him walk in free agency.

The Bucs are hoping that Ben Troupe will push Alex Smith for his starting job in 2008.

The Boston Globe seconds a Dallas Morning News report that the Patriots will not be pursuing suspended CB Pacman Jones.