NFL camp news, Favre says he’ll retire

Across our nation, teams and media outlets are buzzing with what has turned out to be eventful NFL training camps thus far. The most recent news coming out of the camps was Brett Favre allegedly telling Chilly and Zygi he is retiring and not to expect him in camp but more on that later.    

The preseason will officially begin for the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night and follows shortly thereafter for the remaining 30 NFL teams.  Many are left wondering if the issues and problems in camps can be conquered prior to game time.

The main news out of the Cowboys camp surrounds first round pick Dez Bryant. The rookie signed quick, was the first to show on the field the first day of training, then refused to carry veteran Roy William’s pads. The following week, Jon Kitna threw a pass behind the wide receiver and after getting hit on the play, Bryant is expected out with an injury that occurred on the play. Is the Lions’ curse hitting the ‘Boys in Dallas?

For the Detroit Lions after revamping the roster with several trades and FA signings, the primary obstacle remains signing Ndamukong Suh.  As the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Suh is likely to request quite a payday.  Last season, the Lions were faced with a similar obstacle as they worked out a record contract with University of Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford but that was signed the evening before drafting the No. 1 overall pick. 

Presumably, Suh or his agents were waiting on Sam Bradford to sign with the St. Louis Rams in order to gauge and asking price.  With Bradford recently signing for $78 million – $50 million of which is guaranteed – it seems likely that the Lions will have to show Suh the money.  Much of the speculation has been that Suh will ask for more than Bradford.  Suh’s agents claim this is not the case but continue to pursue what they believe to be market value for what many still consider the best player to come out of the draft.

The training camp season has been one of injury struggles thus far for the Philadelphia Eagles.  As of Monday, six starters were on the shelf during training camp with the most notable being DeSean Jackson.  Jackson went down on Saturday with a lower back injury and was carted off the field.  As of Tuesday morning, Coach Andy Reid has commented that Jackson is steadily improving. 

For the Washington Redskins, the primary issue has been Albert Haynesworth.  Haynesworth has been unable to complete the team conditioning test satisfactorily.  After initially failing the test twice, Haynesworth sit out due to knee soreness on Saturday and Sunday.  Haynesworth began the test on Monday but was unable to continue due to the knee issue.

The team conditioning test mandates that certain running drills are completed within an allowed amount of time.  While Haynesworth has been unable to successfully complete the drills, 47-year-old Mike Golic 16 years retired out of the NFL completed the drill on the ESPN network Monday. 

The Redskins – Haynesworth drama began in early June when Haynesworth failed to show up for a mandatory mini-camp due to his objections of the new defensive scheme. He later pocketed a $21 million bonus and demanded a trade.

Though the New York Jets believe they are Super Bowl contenders with or without Darrelle Revis many would argue that Revis will significantly increase those chances.  Revis has yet to show up for the Jets training camp and though various reports exist on the reasons for the holdout many agree that the main issue is total compensation. 

With 54 tackles and 6 interceptions last year with perhaps the largest coming during the Wild Card game that lifted the team over the Bengals, Revis is said to want either a short term deal with a large signing bonus or a long-term deal believed to be in the range of $30 million.

The running back position is now the area of concern for the Denver Broncos as starter Knowshon Moreno was recently carted off the field with what wound up being diagnosed as a “slight tear” in his right hamstring.  The Broncos remain convinced that Moreno will be back in 2 – 3 weeks but that seems like a best case scenario.  The team remains hopeful that Moreno will not miss any carries as the talent behind Moreno on the depth chart is unproven.

In Chicago, the Bears are learning a new offensive system and are getting newly acquired pass rusher Julius Peppers accustomed to the defensive system.  At this point in time, hope is high but the Bears will need to execute in all areas in a division as competitive as the NFC North.  After a dismal 2009 season, Bears fans are hopeful that the Martz offensive system will work to Cutler’s strengths. 

In Minnesota, the Vikings have learned that Brett Favre will retire for a third time.  However, many inside the NFL and owner Zygi Wilf are convinced Favre will return before all is said and done.  Regardless, the Vikings will need to look at the possibility of moving forward with Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels and Joe Webb as signal callers.  Behind Favre, the quarterback position in Minnesota is still unproven and training camp play has given no firm indication of who might be the projected starter should Favre stay true to his word.

Expectations are higher than ever for the Houston Texans.  Coming off of their first winning season in franchise history, the Texans are looking to make their first playoff appearance in the history of the team.  Many around the NFL point to the possibility that they may do it in impressive fashion – clinching the AFC South ahead of the Indianapolis Colts.  If quarterback Matt Schaub can continue to pass as he did last year only bright things should be expected for this team as the young talent continues to gain experience.

Competition in Arizona has led to many on-field fights as the team begins to adjust to life without Kurt Warner.  The expectation in Arizona is that Matt Leinart will be the signal caller for the start of the season.  When the Cardinals drafted Leinart the expectations were that he would someday carry the weight of the organization on his shoulders.  In the NFL, he has had mixed results with moments of despair and flashes of brilliance.  In any event, the success of the team likely hinges on how the team adjusts without Kurt Warner.

When the preseason begins this Sunday night, teams will have four weeks to adjust their roster to the best possible.  If the past few seasons have shown us anything expect new faces in the playoffs and a high level of competition across the league.

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Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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