So it's the first weekend of the offseason, and the wife and kids and I are about to head out for a little R and R. And yes we're driving her car, so if you remember last summer, pray for our safe and timely return.
Before I head out, here's a few odds and ends that have been rattling through my head the last few days as I decompress from a long season.
-- When Julius Peppers says it's not about the money, I believe him. When he says he wants to win a championship, I don't take that to mean he doesn't want to do it here.
I'm still not sure how his situation plays out, but I do think he's a principled man, and stay or go, will allow the Panthers to stay competitive. If it's stay, that means a deal with a small enough cap figure in 2009 (the last capped year under the current CBA) to add help. If it's go, that means enough draft picks to begin the attempt to replace him.
I've thought about this loads, and I swear I think it could still go either way. I've leaned stay for a long time, but his oracle-like statements last week had me thinking go.
-- I think there are a lot of coaches on the Panthers staff whose future will be up in the air when they leave for Mobile, Ala., next week.
Will they fire guys? Will guys leave on their own?
As "Magic 8 Ball" Peppers might say: "Ask again later."
I do not, however, think Peppers' return is tied to the hiring or firing of certain coaches. I genuinely believe he isn't that kind of manipulator.
I also think that coaches are funny people, with handlers who'll put names out there to drum up interest and create markets.
-- In a related note, I think if KC coach Herm Edwards ever needs a soft place to land, his old pal "Crash" will help him out. He and John Fox played together in college. Edwards was the talented one.
-- I think the Panthers QB depth chart in Spartanburg in seven months will be exactly like it is today: Delhomme, McCown, Moore, in that order. And I think they might still bring Basanez back, or some other kid of similar pedigree.
I don't think there's a passer available, in the draft or free agency or trade (unless a Manning or Rivers or Ryan or Brady's mysteriously available), who's better than Delhomme. I'm not even sure there's an upgrade to McCown out there on the open market, for what that's worth.
Calm down, take a breath, and realize that as bad as he was last weekend, he's still pretty good (.618 winning percentage), and as he's proven, all the quarterback they need to win, if the right parts are in place.
-- I think I was shocked to hear the news out of Tampa about Jon Gruden and GM Bruce Allen being fired. The Glazers must have something up their sleeves to pull that move on a Friday night. And it better be something big.