Believe it or not, there's enough going on in pro football for a link dump on June 1! Here's what's happening around the interwebs...
In Detroit, there's talk that Ndamukong Suh's contract situation could get a bit complex. The agents for Suh, the second player taken overall and the best player in the 2010 draft class, are playing hardball through the press. They're going to want offensive tackle money for the stud defensive tackle from Nebraska. Last season, that meant $33 million guaranteed for St. Louis' Jason Smith(notes), the second overall pick. The Lions have enjoyed two very solid drafts in a row, and Suh is a potential once-in-a-decade defensive playmaker. Here's betting that the Lions, whose head coach Jim Schwartz probably sees Suh as the Albert Haynesworth(notes)-style disruptor he had as Tennessee's defensive coordinator, get the deal done in time for training camp.
In his always-intriguing "Inside the Playbook" series, Matt Bowen of the National Football Post details how to beat Cover-1 pressure coverage with the use of motion and formation. Cards head coach Ken Whisenhunt took a love for trips and bunch formations from his days as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator. Few teams run more trips/bunch these days than the Cardinals. Will this change under a more run-heavy offense led by Matt Leinart(notes)? Stay tuned ... but it's worth mentioning that the Steelers have developed some neat run-blocking stuff out of bunch formations.
Speaking of contract issues, there's the impending free agency of Rams safety O.J. Atogwe. You may not have heard much about Atogwe because the Rams have been 100 different kinds of horrible over the last few years, but he's the team's best defensive player. What the Rams now have to decide is whether to offer Atogwe a maximum tender, which would equate to 110 percent of his 2009 salary (that's about $7 million), sign him to a long-term deal, or cut him loose. Atogwe will turn 29 on June 23, and he's had a few injury red flags. But if the Rams want to pull their franchise out of the doldrums, they can't start losing their most gifted defensive players after several ill-advised defensive draft picks. If the Rams don't give Atogwe the high tender by midnight Tuesday night, the low tender they already gave him will expire and he'll be a free agent. Team of interest here? The San Francisco 49ers. Atogwe is dating the daughter of Niners head coach Mike Singletary.
Could those 49ers be moving to Los Angeles if they don't get a new stadium in the Bay Area? Yes, another franchise is using Smog City, USA as a holdup threat to politicians and taxpayers. Matt Maiocco of csnbayarea.com says that it would never happen, but Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News says that the first step would be the York family insisting that a team sale would be inevitable without a new stadium. If that's the case, there's no specific obligation to sell the team to a local buyer, and that's where things could get interesting. Tim Leiweke, brother of Seahawks CEO Tod, is part of a group trying to put together a plan to build a privately financed stadium near the Staples Center, which is owned by the Leiweke-run AEG. Of course, Leiweke is familiar with the dual concepts of relocation and getting what one wants — he helped broker the deal that brought Pete Carroll from USC to Seattle.