Thursday, August 25, 2011

Interesting developments across the NFL

It's sphincter-tightening time for owners, and would-be owners, of Peyton Manning and Chris Johnson.

The Colts brought in Kerry Collins earlier this week, ostensibly to beef up their horrid backup-QB position. But more worrisome is the prospect that Peyton's neck injury is not healing as rapidly as hoped. With little more than two weeks to go before Indy's first game, the possibility of seeing Collins under center when the regular season opens is becoming more and more likely.

As we all know, Peyton hasn't missed a start since the heyday of Beatlemania. But neck injuries present more long-term concerns than your typical knee, ankle and shoulder issues. As confident as I've been that Manning will start the season with his hands rubbing up against Jeff Saturday's crotch, it's time to seriously consider the chance that he might not. And if he missed one game, does that stretch into two or three?

Caveat draftor...

Similarly, but different, Chris Johnson's holdout continues to drag on, with no obvious end in sight. Now, these things tend to look darkest before the dawn, and then the next thing you know, everyone's shaking hands and toasting a massive new contract. But CJ2K's meeting yesterday with the Titans' GM did not yield much progress -- so we're told -- so this is another situation worth monitoring. If you have one of the top three or four picks in an early draft, you're facing the possibility of an extra bye week or two if you take CJ2K. I won't believe it till I see it; but there's a chance.

Rumors are flying that Ryan Grant is in danger of being cut by the Packers. This doesn't seem plausible, since he just restructured his contract and has been guaranteed $2.5mm for this season. I fully expect to see Grant lining up behind Aaron Rodgers in Week 1, but this could be a signal that the team is not sold on his complete recovery from last year's knee injury. I'll be bumping him down a couple notches in my next round of rankings, and boosting James Starks a bit.

In other much-less-interesting developments...Larry Johnson has been acquired by the Dolphins. Stay tuned for an announcement about his subsequent arrest or release, coming shortly.

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