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Bountygate

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by bluecoconuts, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    GW getting called to the Principal's office...

    @mortreport: Chris Mortenson
    NFL Security is recalling Gregg Williams to NYC for more Bounty-gate talk Monday.
     
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  2. bluecoconuts Well-Known Member

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    Re: GW getting called to the Principal's office...

    Oh crap the cops, quick someone flush the pot.
     
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  3. Stranger How big is infinity?

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    sorry guys, but this has all the trademarks of a hit on Williams. If the investigation has been going on for a couple of years, why wait until AFTER media has castrated williams to call him to NYC? I have yet to see any evidence, have heard refutations of charges by his players, and a brief conciliatory msg by williams that still leaves me unclear as to what he actually apologized for.

    the way the barrage of media reports have been flying before any report comes out tells me there's an agenda at work here, just dont know what it is yet.
     
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  4. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Severe, sweeping penalties under consideration...

    [​IMG]

    By Mark Maske
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/foo ... _blog.html

    The NFL is considering severe, sweeping disciplinary measures in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty case that could include lengthy suspensions of Coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and player leaders of the scheme, a person familiar with the deliberations said Sunday.

    The person, speaking on the condition of anonymity because NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has not made final decisions on penalties said some of the sanctions could be “unprecedented.” Payton and Loomis face discipline for failing to halt the practice of paying players for big hits on opponents. The bounty system was administered by Williams and involved 22 to 27 players, according to an NFL investigation revealed Friday, the person said.

    The suspensions under consideration are a half-season or longer in some cases, the person said. Several other people in the sport said they expect Williams, now the defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, to be punished severely.

    The Washington Post reported Friday that the Washington Redskins had a similar system under Williams from 2004 to 2007 that paid players for big hits on opponents. On Saturday, the Post reported that the NFL would investigate the Redskins as it has the Saints.

    People with knowledge of the deliberations cautioned that Goodell has yet to make final determinations in the Saints case and that some matters remained subject to change. Goodell is seeking advice on disciplinary action from the NFL Players Association, players and others, those people said.

    The Saints’ bounty system was carried out from 2009 to 2011 at a time that the NFL was placing new empahsis on player safety, particularly the prevention of head injury, by toughening enforcement of rules and heavily fining violators. The league faces a large number of lawsuits from players who claim the game’s violence left them permanently impaired.

    Some players have said since Friday that bounties are common in the NFL, and were paid for hard, but clean hits. Even so, many people in professional football are growing increasingly convinced that the penalties imposed by Goodell in the Saints case will be significantly more severe than the sanctions against the New England Patriots in 2007 for the “Spygate” videotaping scandal. Goodell stripped the Patriots of a first-round draft choice and imposed fines that toaled $750,000--$500,000 for Coach Bill Belichick and $250,000 for the team, after the Patriots were found guilty of improperly videotaping opponents’ coaching signals. Belichick was not suspended.

    The person familiar with penalty deliberations in the Saints case referred pointedly to the full season suspensions that former NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle imposed in 1963 on Green Bay Packers running back Paul Hornung and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras for gambling. The person did not specify who might be subject to such a severe sanction.

    The league announced Friday that the discipline in the Saints case could include fines, suspensions or the forfeiture of draft choices. According to the NFL’s investigation, the Saints’ bounty system was primarily player-funded and paid for hits that forced opponents off the field or knocked them out of a game, along with fumble recoveries and interceptions. Such payments violate league rules, according to the NFL.

    The league’s investigation cited Loomis and Payton for failing to take action to halt the bounty program. It found that the program was “administered” by Williams.

    The person familiar with the NFL’s deliberations said Sunday it is too soon to know whether disciplinary action will be taken against the Redskins or any other teams for violations involving Williams.

    Joe Gibbs, who was the Redskins’ head coach when Williams coached the team’s defense, has said he had no knowledge of a Redskins bounty program.
     
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  5. Stranger How big is infinity?

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    It sounds to me like everyone has known about this type of behavior for some time, and that it has been league wide. So, why target the Saints in the first place? Did they warn all teams, or just Saints? Why let the practice go on so long? Why hang Williams in the media BEFORE issuing report or rendering decision on penalty? Why wait to call williams to NYC until now, AFTER hanging him in media? Why are no other DC's even being mentioned in media if indeed this was league wide?
     
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  6. Stranger How big is infinity?

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    Vegas is probably a big influencer here, cause a few hundred dollars between players could potentially change game spread, and without the knowledge of Vegas odds makers, meaning potential big losses for bookmakers.
     
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  7. Ram Quixote Knight Errant

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    Re:

    The agenda is, "What fairly high-profile (but not too high) coach of a prominent (but not too prominent) NFL team can we make an example of so that every team gets the message?"

    The NFL wouldn't want to aim at their fan favorite teams (NE, Pitt, Dallas, GB or either NY team), though I can't say any of them have or haven't been guilty of breaking the bounty rule.

    Working against Williams is the fact that the bounty allegations have been around since 2010, and he's nearly in between jobs. Though the Rams have hired him, he hasn't had any contact with the players. This way, they don't have to worry about suspending an active coach, assuming a lengthy suspension and the Rams hire/promote someone else.
     
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  8. bluecoconuts Well-Known Member

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    Re: GW getting called to the Principal's office...

    Given the fact they allowed the Rams to hire him without telling him, they should owe the Rams some sort of compensation for their troubles. Of course they wont, but they should.
     
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  9. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Re: GW getting called to the Principal's office...

    Williams to meet with NFL over paid bounties

    Published: Sunday, March 04, 2012, 5:38 PM
    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK — The NFL's investigation that found the New Orleans Saints paid bounties to players for knocking opponents out of games is far from over.

    League spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press on Sunday the NFL will be "addressing the issues raised as part of our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of the game."

    Those issues could include previous seasons, too.

    Several players around the league have said the Saints and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams weren't the only ones with such a system. Former Redskins safety Matt Bowen said Williams had a similar bounty scheme when he was in Washington.

    Williams, according to a report by ESPN, will be meeting with league security officials on Monday to discuss the alleged wrongdoings.

    Aiello said the league would not comment on other reports. He added that the NFL will look at "any relevant info regarding rules being broken," saying that is "standard procedure."

    Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh insisted Sunday his team had no bounty program.

    "I don't take part in those things and nor do my teammates and nor my coaches. We don't allow that," said Suh, who was suspended for two games this season for stomping on an opponent and has been fined frequently by the NFL for rough play."

    "For me, personally, and I know my teammates, we don't want to put anybody out," he added. "Especially me, I would never want anybody to target me to take me out, so why would I do it against somebody else."

    The Saints maintained a bounty pool of up to $50,000 the last three seasons, the NFL said. Payoffs came for inflicting game-ending injuries, among other events. The investigation by NFL security found that quarterbacks Brett Favre and Kurt Warner were among the players targeted. "Knockouts" were worth $1,500 and "cart-offs" $1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs.

    All payouts for specific performances in a game, including interceptions or causing fumbles, are against NFL rules. The NFL also warns teams against such practices before each season.

    The NFL said the findings were corroborated by multiple, independent sources, and the pool amounts peaked in 2009, the year the Saints won the Super Bowl.

    "The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for 'performance,' [hil]but also for injuring opposing players[/hil]," Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday in a statement. "[hil]The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football[/hil]: player safety and competitive integrity."

    The league said 22 to 27 defensive players were involved in the program and it was administered by Williams, with the knowledge of coach Sean Payton.

    "It was a terrible mistake," Williams said. "And we knew it was wrong while we were doing it."

    No punishments have been handed out, but they could include suspension, fines and loss of draft picks.

    Williams also has been the defensive coordinator in Tennessee and Jacksonville, was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills, and in January was hired by new Rams coach Jeff Fisher to lead the defense.

    The league could look into whether such bounties were used with any of those teams and, of course, with the Redskins in light of Bowen's comments.

    In New Orleans, players contributed cash to the pool, at times large amounts, and in some cases the money pledged was directed against a specific person, the NFL said.

    One Saint fined last season for flagrant hits was safety Roman Harper. In Week 14 against Tennessee, he made two hits that drew a total of $22,500 in fines.

    Harper was fined $15,000 for roughing the passer on a helmet-to-helmet hit, and another $7,500 for unnecessary roughness when he pulled down receiver Damian Williams by his helmet after a long catch and run. The tackle likely stopped Williams from scoring, and Gregg Williams defended Harper's aggressiveness on that play after the game.

    "If that guy doesn't want his head tore off, duck. Because that's how we're playing. He needs to duck, OK? And that is exactly what you have to do," Williams said. "One of the things about playing in this league is that your mental toughness, your physical toughness, all that kind of stuff works hand in hand. And I love Roman Harper and the way he plays, and evidently a lot of other people and players in the league do, too, because they keep on voting him to the Pro Bowl."
     
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  10. Anonymous Guest

    Re:

    I don't agree that it was league wide, and I have seen no evidence that it is--just bald-faced assertions, mostly coming from people who want to exonerate a Rams coach. I did read that the Rams players started to initiate money prizes for defensive plays and they were ordered to desist by Zygmunt.

    No one "hung" anyone in anything. There was a report and its substance was released. It's bad business to keep things like that secret so releasing the results is naturally the next step.

    There might be a good reason no other "DCs" are mentioned (though of course this was an investigation of the Payton/Loomis Saints, not of a DC). Maybe in fact you're wrong that it is "widespread."

    And the fact remains. The Saints were told to desist. They didn't. Certainly they came to attention in the first place because of the what happened to Favre and Warner playing them in the post-season their superbowl year
     
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  11. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Re: Re:

    Sounds to me that it's more about Williams than the Saints. Even though the named parties are Loomis/Payton/Williams, these stories are primarily focused on Williams. What he did in Tennessee, Buffalo, Washington, and in New Orleans. All the other head coaches are denying knowledge of this. "I didn't know anything about that", "I would never have condoned that", etc. From that, I don't see how it's league-wide either. It probably IS a league-wide thing, or at least involves more than one team, but I haven't seen or heard anyone else being investigated or even hinted about being investigated other than Williams and the Saints.

    50,000 pages on the Saints though? In two years? I can't imagine that no other team or coordinator is being investigated. And if there aren't any others, then it certainly sounds like Williams is being set up as the guy who's going to be made an example of. Sentence-ending prepositions aside.
     
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  12. Selassie I H. I. M.

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    Re: GW getting called to the Principal's office...

    It will be interesting to see if Goodell "destroys" the evidence AGAIN.
     
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  13. Stranger How big is infinity?

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    Ornstein, A Felon, Contributed To Saints Bounties

    How much you wanna bet that Ornstein bet on the Saints in those games where he contributed to the bounty?

    Mike Ornstein, A Felon, Contributed To Saints Bounties And Left Email Trail
    Mar 02 7:01p by Kevin McCauley
    http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2012/3/2/28 ... ty-program

    [​IMG]


    Mike Ornstein is a former marketing agent for Reggie Bush and was, at least at one point, a close friend of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. More importantly than that, he is a really sketchy guy. Back in 2010, Ornstein pled guilty to "one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property, money laundering and one count of mail fraud" after he conspired to scalp Super Bowl tickets. Ornstein had previously been convicted of mail fraud in 1995.

    Despite all of this, he was very close with the Saints organization. So close, in fact, that he contributed to Gregg Williams' bounty program. Oh, and he was stupid enough to talk about it in an email to Payton.

    According to CBS Sports NFL reporter Mike Freeman, who has acquired details of a memo sent to all NFL teams regarding the Saints bounty program, Ornstein contributed large sums of money to bounties on multiple occasions and placed details of the bounty system in an email to Payton. He detailed a $5,000 bounty in that email. In 2009, Ornstein put down $10,000 towards a bounty on an opposing quarterback. He also contributed to a QB bounty on two separate occasions in 2011.

    The Saints not only had a bounty program where players were paid to injure opponents, but they allowed a convicted felon to contribute to it. Spectacular.
     
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  14. Stranger How big is infinity?

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    Re: Ornstein, A Felon, Contributed To Saints Bounties

    Jeff Duncan of the Times-Picayune thinks that the Saints are in trouble not just because they were caught in this, but because of the persistent flaunting of the league rules.

     
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  15. Selassie I H. I. M.

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    Re: Ornstein, A Felon, Contributed To Saints Bounties

    Holding Williams solely responsible for the $ that changed hands is WRONG. The responsibility is shared from top to bottom in the entire saint organization. At least from everything I read.


    How many saints players were ejected from a game during Greg's coaching career there ? ,,, or shown to have been guilty of some clearly illegal act ?
     
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  16. joeybittick Well-Known Member

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    Re: Doug Farrar seeks the ultimate punishment.

    Yeah, I was really tired when I made that post :oops: and I do not think I was completely clear.

    If there was any kind of bounty system (which from the look of things there certainly was :nono: ) that is clearly against the rules and the teams/coaches involved should be punished.

    I guess what I do have the problem with is just the swarm of sharks (ESPN types :sly: ) that are absolutely giddy to have a story with huge headlines to put up everywhere.

    OH, and the fact that of course they have to drag the Rams' new hire (DC AND HC, really) all through those headlines. If the guys did it, well, I guess they deserve all of the bad press they get. But I just wonder where this swarm was when the DC and HC got hired?

    Like, I bet that when I turn on certain radio shows tomorrow, ones that made it BLATANTLY clear they had no interest in covering the Williams hire, and that really did an underwhelming job of coverage when Fisher was hired, I am sure they will be ALL OVER "bounty gate" :roll:

    So, maybe I am just an (26 year) old codger who really wants to just complain about how "in my day" (whenever that was :sly: ) people had integrity and people had more than just 30 second attention spans and cared about more than just negative attention grabbing sexy headlines :nono: ... but they probably didn't :?!: I just didn't have the internet to show me they only cared about negative attention grabbing sexy headlines :bummed:
     
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  17. joeybittick Well-Known Member

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    Re: Re:

    Always the contrarian :razzed: :tooth: (me too, normally).

    On one hand, I would say that the fact that already 3 teams have all but come forward to discuss their involvement in bounty programs would say you are wrong in your assertion that it is not widespread.

    However, the fact that the same guy was, if not running, at least condoning those programs says you may be right.

    However, I know it makes me a HUGE hypocritical homer :nono: , but it just pisses me off that they are going after a Ram, simply because "they" couldn't care less about the team any other time :amped:

    P.S. I know the team has been bad, but freak that. I want to see their name in the headlines about more than just "Stan is moving them to effing LA/London"...
     
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  18. Anonymous Guest

    Re: Re:

    Well. Agreed!

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. RamFan503 Grill and Brew Master

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    Re: GW getting called to the Principal's office...

    That would be one hell of a bonfire.
     
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  20. joeybittick Well-Known Member

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    Williams Fallout, Plus Draft and Dome Notes

    DJ Gelner posted on March 04, 2012 11:31
    http://www.insidestl.com/insideSTLcom/S ... Notes.aspx

    The sunny skies and calm surf of South Beach probably look pretty good to Jeff Fisher right about now.

    The Rams' new Head Coach, who had reportedly narrowed the field of potential destinations to St. Louis and Miami shortly before accepting the Rams' position, had to feel like a shovel (or Saints defensive player) hit him in the face when allegations surfaced that new Rams' Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams oversaw a "bounty" system in New Orleans, whereby defensive players were provided with cash prizes for knocking out other teams' offensive stars. Brett Favre and Kurt Warner were specifically mentioned as Saints targets in a league investigation that could mean harsh punishment for Williams, Saints Head Coach Sean Payton, and Saints GM Mickey Loomis.

    “I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the ‘pay for performance’ program while I was with the Saints," Williams said in a statement released by the Rams. "It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.”

    Williams might not get the opportunity to demonstrate his contrition, at least this season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, not really known for a "boys will be boys" attitude on matters involving player safety, will likely bring the hammer down swiftly and decisively on those implicated in the scandal, which could include heavy fines and long suspensions.

    Predictably, the battle lines have been drawn among fans and media members in two, polar opposite directions. One side decries the behavior as absolutely deplorable, and advocates severe punishment for those involved. There's no place for such a "bounty" system in a league like the NFL, which is trying to protect its players, especially quarterbacks, with more gusto than ever before. To this group, injuries are a necessary, but unfortunate, byproduct of the game's violent nature; a type of collateral damage that the league should endeavor to decrease as much as possible.

    On the other side are the "old school" football guys, who see this as "no big deal." They maintain that football is a violent sport of big hits, injuries, and winning at all costs, so anything within that framework that leads to victories is fine by them. Their only complaint is that this is getting far too much attention in a sports media climate eager for Spring Training games to start. If a team can gain a competitive advantage by injuring an opponent in a league where "just win, baby" is the unofficial league motto, then by all means, try to do it by any means necessary. Besides, these guys being targeted are paid well enough and receive free medical care, right? So what's the big deal? I call this cadre the "Let them pay!" contingent.

    Really, the old-schoolers do have a point (to a limited and very circumspect degree). You don't think that a defensive player will try to target an existing injury on an opponent if they know about it? Of course they will; part of the game is to try to inflict enough pain on the other team so that the opponent can no longer play at a high level. It's partially why the "iron man" streak and "playing with pain" are so revered in football; because it gets at that indelible toughness that let other teams know that "no matter how hard you hit us, we'll get right back up and beat you."

    To counter that mindset, defensive players thrive on creating more fear and more pain in their opponents. A defensive guy wants the offense to know that if they have the ball, they're destined for pain. The defense hopes that "hearing footsteps" will force the quarterback to throw an ill-timed INT, or a receiver to drop a grab on third down over the middle. When an offensive player gets up after a hit, it's basically an invitation to hit that guy harder the next time, make him feel worse until he can't get up any longer.

    But here's the problem: as the evidence continues to come in on concussions, it's obvious that head injuries really, really suck. They can lead to depression, mood swings, irritability, and, as new research has shown, potentially symptoms simliar to ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Somewhat ironically, the easiest way now to knock a player out of the game is via a concussion, delivered through a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit. Thus the bounty system encourages exactly the types of hits that the league is desperately attempting to discourage.

    Though the league fines players for helmet-to-helmet hits, Williams' bounty system essentially undermined the fine structure in place. Think about it: though the fines usually end up being larger than the bounties that were reported (which appear to have been in the $10,000 range, according to CNNSI's Peter King), any fine a player would incur would be at least somewhat offset by the "bounty" collected by the player for taking them out of the game. Not only does this just seem "wrong," but it undermines the league's disciplinary system, which, I have a feeling, can't make Roger Goodell feel too warm-and-fuzzy.

    The other problem: even from the old schooler's perspective, such a system seems to be a bit lazy. There's an odd romanticism even among this group that should indicate that "paying for it" is exactly what's wrong with the game today. The true "greats" should relish these big collisions for the sake of competition and winning, not for a few extra bucks. Instead of inspiring the men to go out and make these big hits for the "right reasons," the Saints just put out a hat, passed it around, got a few c-notes in it, and gave it to the guy who knocked an opponent out of the game.

    I don't agree with that interpretation, but rather just want to demonstrate even the grizzled "old-schoolers" that even by their own logic, the bounty system is just flat-out wrong. Yes, football is a violent sport. It's going to be impossible to ever make it 100% safe; if current trends of increasing player size and speed hold true, it's likely to be the exact opposite and the game will get more dangerous at the professional level. It's fine to enjoy a big hit as a player or fan, and, of course, accidents happen. But there's a problem when someone comes in and offers a few grand extra to potentially exacerbate the issue. To cause a player to try to specifically inflict an injury that could lead to debilitating illness and even suicide in the years to come is irresponsible and cruel.

    And perhaps that's the right word for this: cruel. Violence is a part of the sport, but cruelty implies violence plus sadism. Violence plus a little extra something that just doesn't seem right in the game of football.

    Or in this case, violence plus $10,000.

    Quick Notes

    -After Baylor QB Robert Griffin III ran an amazing 4.41 forty at the combine last weekend, it was tough not to imagine what the Rams could get in a trade for the pick. I'm still one of the "fringe media" that think that the Rams should maybe take a closer look at the exciting young QB from Baylor, but my take probably deserves its own column closer to the draft. Jim Thomas wrote an excellent piece in Sunday's Post-Dispatch about the trade possibilities for the Rams with the second pick.

    I understand some folks' compulsion to trade the pick now, but in reality, I think the Rams will probably get more if they wait until they're on the clock on draft day. J.T. indicates that the Browns are currently balking at including the 22nd overall pick in their trade package for the second spot (I guess there's a reason that they're the Browns). You have to think that as draft day approaches, with Peyton Manning unlikely to heal until much closer to training camp and only Green Bay backup QB Matt Flynn available among the veteran pool of potential "franchise" QBs, there will be a team that's desperate enough to make an obscene offer at the eleventh hour for Griffin. If not, you can always make the same gambit San Diego did with Eli Manning in 2004 and draft Griffin anyway, calling other teams' bluffs and striking a deal in the moments after the pick. It's a riskier strategy, for sure, but this isn't Bingo night at the old folks' home; it's high-stakes, no limit poker. Sometimes if you want to win big, you have to risk a lot.

    -Oklahoma State WR Justin Blackmon's stock dropped a bit with the news that he wouldn't run at the combine, as well as fears that he may be slower than anticipated. Everyone should calm down; let's see what Blackmon runs in his pro day at OSU this Friday before crowning him the next big bust. Even if he run a bit slow, he still has the ability to get open and score touchdowns, which is something that the Rams could use in abundance.

    -Of course, Rams fans eager for an athletic freak at wideout may have found their answer in the form of Georgia Tech WR Stephen Hill, who already stands at 6' 4" and 215 lbs. He ran a 4.36 forty at the combine, to go along with stellar interviews, a 39.5" vertical, and several excellent acrobatic grabs. The reason he wasn't more of a household name in college was that Georgia Tech runs an option offense, and consequentially doesn't throw the ball much. But Hill averaged an obscene 25.5 yards per reception, and could be the "home run hitter" the Rams are desperate for, especially if Washington surfaces as their best bet for trading out of the second overall spot. Taking Hill at eight may be perceived as a bit of a reach, but if he could become a Calvin Johnson or Larry Fitzgerald, I don't think that many analysts will frown upon the pick in coming years.

    -The Rams predictably rejected the CVC's proposal for upgrading the Edward Jones Dome this week, and now face a May 1 deadline to counter with their own proposal. This shouldn't come as any shock to Rams' fans; Stan Kroenke is going to get as many concessions as possible from the CVC before capitulating, if his intention is, in fact, to keep the team in St. Louis. As I mentioned in my previous article on the topic, if the Rams want to remain in St. Louis, I'd expect something that would be perhaps a "beefed up" version of the CVC's proposal, as well as a lower price tag for the team. If their intention is to move, I expect a more audacious proposal and a more vigorous and contentious process over deciding what the "top-tier" requirements mean, exactly. The bottom line: nothing St. Louis Rams fans can do but wait until this thing inevitably ends up in arbitration later this year.

    -I hope to check in more as the draft approaches. For now, back to writing my novel, which will (hopefully) be done by the end of April. Thanks for reading.

    D.J. Gelner covers the Rams for insideSTL. Follow him on twitter (@djgelner) for the latest Rams updates. During his winter vacation, check out his personal blog for updates on the as-yet-untitled novel that he's writing.
     
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