Deep Posts: The extended 'Eric Mangini field trip' edition

• Eric Mangini's created a bit of a stir by "asking" rookies to "voluntarily" take a 10-hour bus ride to Hartford to participate in a football camp for underprivileged kids. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that the players and their agents were upset about it, feeling like Mangini made the 20-hour round trip "voluntary," but not really voluntary if you wanted to play for the Browns.

• Some people in Chicago are getting mad at Jay Cutler because he goes to Cubs games and doesn't sign autographs. Here's the question I would ask those people: Would you rather have Rex Grossman(notes) as your quarterback, and watch him sit around and sign autographs all day, or would you rather have Jay Cutler(notes) who refused to ever even pick up a Sharpie?

• Peter King, in his MMQB column, says that Matthew Stafford looks like the favorite to be starting the season opener for the Lions.

Byron Leftwich(notes) is mounting a charge to unseat Luke McCown(notes) as the default starter in Tampa Bay. I would certainly hope so.

• Texans offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan believes that Andre Johnson(notes) can actually raise his game several notches. Keep in mind, this is a gentleman who had 115 receptions for 1,575 yards last year.

Philip Rivers(notes) and Shawne Merriman(notes) are both entering the final years of their contracts, and Ed Thompson of thinks the writing's on the wall for Merriman's departure after this season. Ed Thompson of is WRONG WRONG WRONG AND LALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR HIM.

• Good news for James Harrison's(notes) dog Patron. After attacking and hospitalizing Harrison's son, the dog will not be put down, but will instead be taken in by a woman who specializes in rehabbing pit bulls. You're a lucky dog, Patron.

• Huge, huge news for those of you concerned with what Bill Belichick is wearing this season: He's in fashionable hoodies and matching navy track pants.

Eli Manning(notes) and the Giants spread a little bit of joy among some sick children this weekend.

Tarvaris Jackson(notes), whose work ethic has come under question recently, may not have made the wisest decision in disclosing that his childhood nickname was "FatJack."

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