By Marc Lawrence — It was back on Jan. 30 when Lions QB Matthew Stafford informed Detroit Free Press’ Mitch Albom that the Lions had agreed to ship Stafford to the LA Rams for Jared Goff and a pile of draft picks.
And the always constant, and almost always maddening, pursuit of the “it” guy behind center was officially up and running for the new season.
Personnel executives around the league have said that this offseason could result in the most changes behind center from one season to the next that anyone has seen.
The record? That would be 16 different opening-day starters from the 1998 season compared to 1999.
In 1998, the league had 30 teams, as the expansion Cleveland Browns would start play in 1999 – meaning 16 of the 30 teams (53%) that were open for business in both of those seasons changed starting quarterbacks.
Five future Hall of Famers – Brett Favre, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Dan Marino and Peyton Manning – were in place then, and seven of the 14 teams that did not make a change had a quarterback who already had started, or would eventually start, behind center in at least one Super Bowl for them.
President Bill Clinton was in his second term in office in September 1999. The No. 1 song was Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailamos.” Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing” was one week away from its debut. And there were nine new coaches in the league as the NFL began the most drastic shuffling ever of its quarterback deck.
To see who those teams were and all the quarterbacks involved, click here.
It’s been reported that free-agent defensive lineman J.J. Watt has received contract offers from multiple teams.
The Browns are among the teams interested in Watt. Cleveland.com reported last week that Watt had some mutual interest in signing with the Browns.
Including the Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and Buffalo Bills had already expressed interest in Watt.
Stay tuned as it appears a serious Wattage problem is about to be resolved.
Grinding Out The Profits
From the Playbook Basketball Newsletter: Despite splitting a weekend series with Loyola-Chicago, then winning on the road at Northern Iowa, 21-2 Drake still didn’t make it into this week’s AP Top 25.
One of the MVC’s top teams should already be in an angry mood tonight knowing Bradley sent them packing in a 76-66 loss in the semifinals of last season’s conference tournament.
We’re not big chalk players by any means, but we don’t mind laying points with a Drake squad that’s gone 15-3 ATS as a favorite, as well as 8-1 SUATS versus .400 or greater foes.
Our database puts the kiss of death on the Braves, noting their 3-15 SU and 5-13-1 ATS effort versus foes seeking revenge from a tourney loss, including 0-5-1 ATS at home.
We apply the garrote using Bradley’s 6-14-3 ATS mark overall this season at press time, including 3-10-3 ATS in MVC play.
Do you want some of that or a winning team that stands 3-0 SUATS with revenge in this series? We thought so.