Here are a few NFL items to mull over while realizing that yes, this is exactly what Rex Ryan throwing a baseball should look like...
-- Oh, great sweet hot flaming death. Having alienated and jettisoned every single one of their offensive playmakers from the pre-Josh McDaniels era, the Denver Broncos are now threatening to reduce Elvis Dumervil's(notes) $3.168 million restricted free agent tag to about $600,000 (10 percent more than what he made last year) if he doesn't sign the one-year tender by next Monday. Next: the inevitable McDaniels standoff, followed by the trade or release of the best pass rusher in the NFL. Then, McDaniels can get on with the business of trading Ryan Clady(notes) and the deed to Invesco Field for a third-round draft pick in 2014.
-- Other contract issues: The New Orleans Saints vs. running back Pierre Thomas; and the San Diego Chargers vs. receiver Vincent Jackson(notes) and left tackle Marcus McNeill(notes). Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, whose usual stance on player negotiations is just this side of McDaniels, went out and signed veteran tackle Tra Thomas to replace McNeil for whatever length of time McNeill might hold out. My buddy Gregg Rosenthal put the Pierre Thomas(notes) situation most succinctly:
-- Matt Bowen(notes), one of the more astute football minds in the media today, says that the Detroit Lions should go after free agent safety O.J. Atogwe. I agree completely. Putting Atogwe in the same secondary with second-year stud Louis Delmas(notes) would do a lot to improve what's shaping up to be a pretty bad pass defense. When your starting cornerbacks are Chris Houston(notes) and [insert name here], that's a problem.
-- Now that "Measure J" has passed, the real challenge for the San Francisco 49ers and their quest to build a new stadium is the financing of what is estimated to be a $937 million project. The team is ready to bring a high percentage to the table, leaving a prospective Stadium Authority to pony up $330 million through naming rights, vendor deals, seat licenses, and BP repayments. Okay, we think we're kidding on that last one.
-- In the wake of USC's two-year postseason bowl ban, CNBC sports business expert Darren Rovell tweets that Pete Carroll's Seahawks should be subject to their own equivalent postseason probation. Evidently, Darren hasn't seen the Seahawks play in the last two seasons - two more shouldn't be a problem.